Absolutely no experience, solo crossing an ocean? - Page 8 - SailNet Community
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post #71 of 75 Old 11-30-2016
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Re: Absolutely no experience, solo crossing an ocean?

I was being a bit over dramatic about the mast being in the water. Not to distract from the OP, but my point was that it's a lot different out there from what you see on Sailing La Vagabond. The videos don't give the power of the sea justice. Don't be afraid to take it slow and ask for advice.
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post #72 of 75 Old 11-30-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Roesner View Post
I was being a bit over dramatic about the mast being in the water. Not to distract from the OP, but my point was that it's a lot different out there from what you see on Sailing La Vagabond. The videos don't give the power of the sea justice. Don't be afraid to take it slow and ask for advice.

There is one of his episodes on La Vagabond where he discusses that very issue about his videos. He apologizes for not showing all of the realities of sailing and making it look too easy.

He says it's not their intention to mislead people. He explains that, when they are fighting a storm in rough seas, they don't usually think to take the time to turn on the camera because they are too busy managing the boat.

In that episode he added some footage with a fixed mount camera as they were battling through a night passage in rough weather and seas. Then he talked about how they arrived in port the next morning absolutely exhausted.

If you read Tania Aebi's book, Maiden Voyage, she admits that she was not fully prepared for her solo circumnavigation trip when she left New York. She made her trip before GPS technology and took her Celestial Navigation course while she was working nights. She was half asleep during most of her course and didn't understand that celestial navigation required multiple sightings to get a triangulation.

She really learned to sail during her voyage. But I don't think she recommends that most people do it that way. She later started a sailing school for women.

I believe that it was John Rousmaniere, author of Fastnet: Force 10, who cautioned people not to follow the example of the handful of people who have written books about setting off to sea to learn to sail. He points out that these are the people who got lucky and made it back to write a book. He points out that there are many people who have tried it and didn't write a book, because they didn't make it back.

Last edited by midwesterner; 11-30-2016 at 12:44 PM.
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post #73 of 75 Old 11-30-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonecrusin View Post
Mast in the water? Never happens...
Imagine that you intended to add
;-)
to your post.

Of course smackdown's happen, but my point was that, if this new sailor was seeing his mast hit the water, he either was out in wind and seas that were extreme, or he had too much canvas up.

He didn't indicate that the wind and seas seemed too extreme. He acknowledged that his hunch was, that he didn't manage his boat and sails properly, which sounds like the most logical explanation.

Last edited by midwesterner; 11-30-2016 at 12:37 PM.
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post #74 of 75 Old 11-30-2016
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Re: Absolutely no experience, solo crossing an ocean?

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Originally Posted by Aaron Roesner View Post
I was in the same (sail)boat as you a few months back; never sailed and decided to buy a boat. I flew down to Florida to pick it up and ended up spending a few weeks on the hard getting all of the immediate items repaired. Went in the water and sailed in the ICW for 160 miles; decided I was ready to try for open water. **** myself leaving the St Luce inlet. Turned around, parked the boat and went home (Minnesota). Went back the next week and headed out of the Fort Pierce Inlet. Kept the pants clean this time but came back shortly.
I took a similar path two years ago...came down from Minnesota after too many years freezing my *** off!

Bought a sailboat sitting in a field at Indian Town and worked on it over the Summer. At the end of October I made the trip down the river and out the inlet....I was very lucky to have the perfect day to do so. Small seas, NE wind at 10-15Kns...made it down to Lake Worth after two days of perfect sailing. The next weekend I took it out the Lake Worth inlet without regard to sea state....5-8 seas coming over the bow...mast passing 45degrees while taking breaking seas on the beam...trying to turn tail and head back to the inlet. Sea state over the Winter months is pretty rough here most of the time....the Summer has many more "perfect" sailing days. It takes a lot of patience to wait for that acceptable window in the Winter, especially if you want to cross the Gulf Stream and head to the Bahamas!

Now I know better...haul the boat and work on it during the nice "cool" winter months. Enjoy smooth seas and delightful sailing in the Summer!

Tartan 31
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post #75 of 75 Old 11-30-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post

Imho do not hire a "captain". Hire an instructor.

You are the captain, inexperienced, yes, but you need to be in command.

If you hire a captain they will be in charge... and may treat you like a child.

Hire someone who fully appreciates your position and precedes with you on that basis.
Then you will learn more and the excitement will be enhanced.

Mark
My experience supports what Mark says above. I did my 5-day cruise and learn vacation with an instructor. She was great. She interviewed me prior to sailing to find out what my goals were.

She made it clear that, if all I wanted to do was sit back and drink beer, she would sail for us. On the other hand, if my goal was to learn to sail myself, she would throw me into every situation I was willing to take on.
I asked for the latter situation and she did. There were times when I stumbled and faltered and struggled but she left me alone and offered only verbal assistance.

Our boat was a charter. We met up with a flotilla one evening and there was a family that had just bought a Hunter 50 which was a big jump up from their last boat. They had hired an instructor from the same sailing school who was helping them tweak their sailing skills with the larger boat.

My Instructor was very kind and never made me feel inadequate. She was even careful not to "out" me as a newbe in front of others in case I might feel embarrassed for some reason.. On our first stop to a marina she had me skipper the boat entirely while she stood at my side to quietly offer advice if needed. When the marina's dock staff, who caught our lines, said, "okay good job", they were surprised and very encouraging when I said, "Thank you, that's only my 4th time pulling into a slip and this is only my third day of sailing experience." Everybody congratulated me and gave me great encouragement.
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