First Crossing - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 41 Old 10-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: First Crossing

We made the trip from Belize to Panama. The trip took 12 days and no stops. The wind was pretty fluky along the north coast of Honduras. Most days, the wind would drop to <5 kts from about 7am to early afternoon. Then it would pick up and last through the night. Squalls were a nightly occurrence. We reefed down in the evening; most of the time the main sail was taken down.

The bottom sholes up to abou 150feet on the NE corner of Honduras. There were a good number of fishing boats in that area. One morning, we were on an intersection path with a fishing boat from about 1 1/2 miles away. I turned to point aft of him. He then turned 180 degrees. I turned again, then he turned again. We did this 4 times. Sometimes he would point straight at me. I laid out about 500 ft of floating line and tied 40 ft of 1/2 rope to that. The hope was to get this tangled in his prop and shut his engine down. Not sure it would have worked. After going on a parallel path with us for about 10 minutes, he turned away from us. I don't know his intentions, but it really scared us. A slip mate here in Panama said that the fishermen sometimes do this to scare you. It worked.

Good weather at night was rare. We would go several nights in a row with little sleep. Even so, we love sailing offshore. But we are also happy to be ashore.
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post #12 of 41 Old 10-20-2016
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Re: First Crossing

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Left Mobile, Al for Isla Mujeres. 10 days at sea, no stops. As we rounded Cuba, decided to continue on to Belize. Tropical storm started forming over Puerto Rico, so decided to get to land. Sailed dead down wind for 24 hours. Ended up in Mexico. Enjoying the stay here. Wife and I love being off shore (250 nm that is). Squalls are unnerving, especially as night falls. Peaceful days and nights are truly amazing. One advice was most important, "reef early, reef often". Sailed on jib only when squalls were around at night.
Hey, are you crazy? You can't sail around a storm safely...

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post #13 of 41 Old 10-20-2016
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Re: First Crossing

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We just 360nm in less than 2.5 days. So we averaged over 6k but had the good fortunate to have some big seas and current on our stern all night one night which really helped and the last day had 10k of beam winds and seas and had incredible sailing at between mid 6s and 7k, and we had times when we had no wind. We sail a 2000 Jeanneau DS40.

if you travel at 5k - which is what we use for planning - you get 120nm a day.
Most likely you are a better sailor than him. That's how it goes.
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post #14 of 41 Old 10-20-2016
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Re: First Crossing

How is that sailing around a storm?

Never mind. Here we go again.

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post #15 of 41 Old 10-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: First Crossing

We didn't try to sail around the storm. We headed to the mainland as quickly as possible, while the storm defined itself more clearly. We were prepared to leave the boat if hit by the storm. Fortunately, the storm headed much further south than our location. We were very fortunate.
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post #16 of 41 Old 10-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: First Crossing

@ NineFingers: Yea, better sailor with much more experience. We do good enough. Oddly enough if we had been more efficient at sailing, we would have been in Belize where the storm hit.

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post #17 of 41 Old 10-21-2016
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Re: First Crossing

gbgreen - we have done that route and our only question is what are you using for weather forecasting - we had some similar conditions and saw it coming so took precautions and tucked in and waited it out -

good luck getting on down

Just our thoughts and opinion
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post #18 of 41 Old 10-21-2016
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Re: First Crossing

Good stuff gbgreen, keep it coming.

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Re: First Crossing

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@ NineFingers: Yea, better sailor with much more experience. We do good enough. Oddly enough if we had been more efficient at sailing, we would have been in Belize where the storm hit.
Well, your probably a better sailor than me, so at least you got someone beat! Not that it matters at all. I've been in spots where I could motor at 5 or 6 knts, but chose to sail at 3knts because the destination probably wasn't going to be as nice as where I was - be it the middle of nowhere.
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post #20 of 41 Old 10-21-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: First Crossing

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gbgreen - we have done that route and our only question is what are you using for weather forecasting - we had some similar conditions and saw it coming so took precautions and tucked in and waited it out -

good luck getting on down
We have the DeLorme InReach for texting and it provides weather reports. Our son gives us weather updates twice daily. He uses a couple of website with NWS (weather.gov) being one. There is a marine weather web site that he also uses. Can't remember the name right now. My wife and I found the websites for him prior to our departure.

In the squally season, rain is predicted all day every day. But the wind direction and speed predictions were pretty good. We watched clouds build all day every day. Then about 8 to midnight, the storms would unload. Each night, we might get hit or they might pass to the side of us. It was about a 50% chance of being hit.

InReach does not give tropical storm information. Our son passed that to us. He kept us up to date on the progress of the storm. My wife's sister also passes us weather information when things get more serious like tropical storms.
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