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Was thinking about the what-if for when you are sailing solo and about to approach land/harbor. If you are too tired to approach a high traffic area you'd probably want to stay away hove-to and get some rest.

By way of example, say it was a trip from the east coast to Bermuda or vice-versa, and you knew enough to stay well away from the rhumb line.

Is this a good strategy?

Regards,
Brad
 

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Seems like a good idea. Heaving to and snoozing is standard dogma for arrival at an unfamiliar harbor at night, so why not the same practice if you're too exhausted to be safe?
 

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Was thinking about the what-if for when you are sailing solo and about to approach land/harbor. If you are too tired to approach a high traffic area you'd probably want to stay away hove-to and get some rest.

By way of example, say it was a trip from the east coast to Bermuda or vice-versa, and you knew enough to stay well away from the rhumb line.

Is this a good strategy?

Regards,
Brad
Heaving-to in such a situation is certainly a good practice, but "staying away from the rhumb line" ??? The rhumb line from WHERE ? Your rhumb line will not necessarily be identical to everyone's, a place like Bermuda is approached from a wide array of different directions, after all... To stay away from the most common lines of approach around the reefs to the N of Bermuda might involve sailing as much as 50-75 NM further east, hardly seems necessary in order to get a few hours of rest... (Not to mention, unless you're arriving in Bermuda as part of a race fleet, it's more than likely you won't see a single other boat out there during your final approach)

Even more so, for your return to "the East coast"... Other vessels on occasion approach East coast ports from places other than Bermuda, no?

:)

In addition, unless you're sailing solo, the simple act of heaving-to in order to await daylight, or get a bit of rest, does not preclude the proper practice of having some member of the crew standing watch, no matter how "tired" everyone aboard might be...
 

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Having a handle on boat speed and distance to the harbor in essential. There has been many a night where I'll determine at 20:00 that given current course and rate of speed, I'll arrive at my destination at 04:00 or some other time when it is still dark...a bad thing in my book. So I take a reef; or take two in main or jib. I've slowed the boat down to as little as 3.5 knots so as to arrive a 07:00 when the sun has risen. I makes my life much easier to sail slowly and steadily to my destination sure of a daylight arrival.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Story of my life is to have an ETA off a strange shore at 20:00 or a bit after. I am also in the slowing down category. I would not be very comfortable heaving-to to sleep in an area that has a lot of traffic. If possible it would make sense to gotten more rest earlier in the voyage, including heaving-to to get a sleep in areas that are not busy.
 

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It's definitely a good idea to stand off.

Two situations come to mind.

Once approaching Yarmouth, Nova Scotia at night in thick fog. The urge to complete the trip exceeded sensibility, we got in OK, but the crew was tired and judgement was poor running that snake like channel at low tide. Picked up the mooring at 0230. We should have waited.

Once approaching MT Desert Rock before dawn. Lot's of little radar targets about 10 miles out (what's that?) found out soon enough in a cluster of lobster traps. It was calm, we were motoring, we shut down and drifted till first light. This was a good call.
 

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I am glad everyone else arrives at these places at the wrong time... I thought it was just me!

I am in the slow the boat down camp. And when I do its quite comfortable to sleep while you still have sea room. But if you are hove too close to the shore then it may be a bit unwise to nod off in case the boat un-heaves (nautical term, look it up!) and barrels off into the rockery.

Also its probably easier to slow down than heave to.

One point, if you slow down too early then, of course, the wind will drop so I only slow down when I know I am goinig to get in there that day even if the wind does drop.

By the way, i make sure I am NEVER tired. As a solo sailor I think its very important to get sleep. Store sleep up and in an emergency you will have energy to spare. But get close to port tired then there may be some unseen stuff up that tiredness Exacerbates. Weird example was a person clearing customs tired and made the wrong decision and was locked up in jail for 7 days! He could have left but was too tired to do another passage.

Mark
 

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On my circumnavigation, we almost ALWAYS arrived off the pass or harbor entrance at 03;00 or 04:00. Being on celestial navigation, we'd leave a bit more "safety" room than I might today with GPS, but still, entering a strange port on potentially out of date charts wasn't something I was comfortable doing.
In many cases, we'd just lie ahull, not bothering with any sail, or officially heaving-to. But as mentioned above, we ALWAYS stood watch, as it was one place on our crossing where the likelihood of encountering other traffic was almost a certainty, from local fishing boats, to freighters intent on meeting a scheduled rendezvous with their pilot. This is NOT a good place for a singlehander to catch up on his sleep. I've never been comfortable with sleeping in the dark, as a singlehander. My preference was to do my sleeping in the daylight, where even if I wasn't wide awake, I could be reasonably certain others out here would be.
 

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All the above good advice,

I would also suggest it is worth practicing heaving to before you have to do it "in anger" as each boat behaves differently.
 

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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks. Good feedback, especially about slowing down instead, never getting tired, and sleeping more in the daytime.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Heaving to is something I do all the time when singlehanding. Our winter races finish just at the end of the docks, and there is very little running room beyond the finish line. So I cross the line and immediately turn up and heave to. Then I can casually drop my main, lower the outboard and get it started, then drop the jib and motor into the harbour. (Because the jib is already backwinded, it drops nicely on the foredeck) All without moving more than 50 yards from the harbour entrance.
 

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Heaving to is something I do all the time when singlehanding. Our winter races finish just at the end of the docks, and there is very little running room beyond the finish line. So I cross the line and immediately turn up and heave to. Then I can casually drop my main, lower the outboard and get it started, then drop the jib and motor into the harbour. (Because the jib is already backwinded, it drops nicely on the foredeck) All without moving more than 50 yards from the harbour entrance.
What happens to the poor clown who finishes behind you? Or are you always last? :laugher
 
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Heaving to is something I do all the time when singlehanding. Our winter races finish just at the end of the docks, and there is very little running room beyond the finish line. So I cross the line and immediately turn up and heave to. Then I can casually drop my main, lower the outboard and get it started, then drop the jib and motor into the harbour. (Because the jib is already backwinded, it drops nicely on the foredeck) All without moving more than 50 yards from the harbour entrance.
Muse,

I remember reading this in your book, which by the way is a GOLD MINE of information. I was wondering about this too actually. The situation you describe is one that sounds like somewhat tight quarters. Assuming you get a little distance from the finish line, how much does your boat move when hove to? What direction does she go in general? I think I remember that it is a lee shore situation.


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