Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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I'd point out that the OP's post seems to be asking about what to do on open water passages, not coastal cruising. There's a big difference between the two, since during a coastal passage, you can generally find an anchorage, marina, or some other haven for the night. On a bluewater passage, sailing through is really your only option—whether you heave-to, set a sea anchor, reef the sails and set the autopilot, or lie ahull. In all of these cases, you are still technically underway, and as such, responsible for avoiding collisions.
One possible solution is to lie ahull or heave-to and run the signals for a VESSEL NOT UNDER COMMAND. I don't know if this is legal, but from what I've read, it may be a possibility.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.