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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We will soon be leaving our winter berth to go cruising for the next five or six months.
Hopefully the boat has been prepared over winter so all we need to know now is where we are going.
We have a very rough idea in that it will be Tunisia, Sardinia, Corsica, Malta and Sicily. Nothing is set is stone though and this may well change.
I suppose really we don't decide where we will go until the night before or morning of departure.

I just wondered how much planning and preparation people put in for an extended cruise?
Is it on a whim or where the wind is or do you have your whole cruise planned out?
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Planning of routes, alternative routes and places to stop in detail is essential. Having every bit of information you can put together about currents, anchorages, fuel stops, etc. will keep you from getting into bad situations. Invest in all the guide books you can get your hands on. Whatever planning is done needs to be flexible and not dependent on a schedule. Setting up dates to be places can easily lead to sailing when you should be staying put.
 
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That's exactly right.

We get all the planning documentation we can in advance. Cruising guides, paper charts, tide/current tables, electronic charts, anything to simplify regulations entering a new country, etc. Then we have a very rough schedule, with lots of slop especially if we need to be someplace at the end of the trip. We've waited a week or more in various ports for weather. We like sailing the way the wind goes. We expect things to break, and allow time to get them fixed. We try to get everything working before we go, and do preemptive fixes for things about to break. Since more time is typically spent waiting for spares to get delivered than fixing stuff, we keep a lot of parts for things we don't want to live without on board.

IMHO, the key to enjoying an extended cruise is this willingness to wait, and enjoy the place you are at.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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We tend to plan well in the broader scale by having the boat ready to go and having the background information we can find at hand. After that we are pretty flexible within the constraints of seasons and entry conditions (e.g. when do we have to leave this country, when does the cyclone season begin). We find that once you get into a particular area you end up going to places you could not plan from because there was no information about it readily available. Sometimes you meet another boat and they have heard that Island X is terrific so it off you go. I think that it is entirely possible to be over-planned, which is different from over-prepared, which is a good thing.
 
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I like the flexibility to plan at the last minute and change the plan on the spur of the mement.

To do that I have all the pilot charts for every ocean, mostly electronic so they interface with OpenCpn.

Also theres software to download a whole website including ALL its links. I have downloaded Noonsite.com in its entirety. So At sea, or without internet I can get info on any country and its clearance details.

I have used this flexibility on a couple of occasions to get me out of a problem, and others I have read, who do not have the flexibility have got themselves into serious bother.
One example, a few years ago, where a cruiser went into Mexico with a gun thats not allowed. They told him it was illegal and they would jail him if he did not leave NOW. Because he was 'tired' and didnt have the ability to divert immediately to another country he spent 7 days in jail!

So yes, its nice to know everything before you go, but its not necessarily unsafe to plan on the move.

If you are rolling past some place that looks interesting just drop in! Conversely, other places, say Tunisia, that appears all good and calm now, you might be heading into the Marina port of entry and wonder why theres tanks on the roads! Time to say "Hey can we turn around and do a 3 days passage immediately???"

(Thats also a good reason to never be tired at the end of a passage.)

Mark
 

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I'm not going to plan much of anything on my next, extended cruise. About the only thing I'm gonna plan is the departure date from here. The rest of the cruise will just happen when it happens. Setting deadlines, IMO, is a big mistake and often leads to either disappointments, or sailing in less than favorable conditions to make the deadlines. I did that once - it's not going to happen again.

Gary :cool:
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Mark, what is the software for downloading sites? I have done it piecemeal including places I might go but am not planning to go. Would be nice to have everything available if needed
 
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Mark, what is the software for downloading sites? I have done it piecemeal including places I might go but am not planning to go. Would be nice to have everything available if needed
It not on my computer anymore and I dont remember which one it was.. :(

But have a look here
Offline Browsers for Windows - Free downloads and reviews - CNET Download.com

it may have been one thats free only for a trial period so I downloaded Noonsite and then gave the program the flick. :)

I just downloaded HTTrack but couldnt get it to work..

Noonsite is about 500mb so make sure you are on a FAST and FREE internet
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I just wondered how much planning and preparation people put in for an extended cruise?
Is it on a whim or where the wind is or do you have your whole cruise planned out?
<joke> I'm an offshore guy. I tack on Tuesdays and Fridays. </joke>

I reuse plans, so a lot of the work is many years old. This applies to spares, maintenance, provisioning, procedures, and other lists.

So much is available online that cruising guides aboard are limited to those I read for pleasure (like Bill Shellenberger and Claiborne Young), or might want to review offshore (like Denton Moore and Bruce Van Sant). I download huge swaths of websites and load them on various media including DVDs, USB hard drives, and my phone.

For local cruising even over extended periods we decide each morning where to go based on whim and wind. If we have a goal (get to the Bahamas, get to the Eastern Caribbean, cross the Atlantic, sail around the world) we consider whether whim moves us toward or away from our goal. Sometimes weather or other factors change our goals: one year our plan to cruise the SVI, USVI, and BVI turned into a putter up the ICW from Beaufort NC and a cruise of the southern Chesapeake.
 

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"Tunisia, Sardinia, Corsica, Malta and Sicily"

Very good plan for a cruise. I am always afraid to visit all northern African countries by boat. It is a good idea to check the current sitiuation in Tunisia. The politics, the behaviour of local authorities, theft etc. are some of the issues to be checked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"Tunisia, Sardinia, Corsica, Malta and Sicily"

Very good plan for a cruise. I am always afraid to visit all northern African countries by boat. It is a good idea to check the current sitiuation in Tunisia. The politics, the behaviour of local authorities, theft etc. are some of the issues to be checked.
Sicily is quiet expensive to get hauled out so a lot of people here hop the 150 miles across there to get the work done. It is cheaper, duel is less than half price and they apparently do a good job. We are in contact with people down there. Just need the odd bottle of spirits to help pave the way.
 

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Just need the odd bottle of spirits to help pave the way.
That means the people or the authorities are corrupt.

If they over estimate your worth you will be required to pay more than you can afford and end up either without money or without your boat.

A friend paid about $10,000 in bribes in Egypt because he started with the attitude of a brown paper bag with cash to 'grease the wheels'.

Never, ever pay a bribe.

:)
 
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