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· Mermaid Hunter
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Laura,

Do you have someone to leave the kids with for a week or so?

A good delivery skipper who can teach as well and a plan to launch from New England to Cape May would do wonders for your skills, experience, and self-confidence. The knowledge that you don't need to break a passage up into baby hops and the belief you would develop in your boat would be grand. It also gets you a bunch further South a lot faster.

You could drop off the skipper and collect your kids in Baltimore and do the day hops from there all the way to Florida, secure in your abilities at that point.

Importantly, you'd be in the position to *know* that you can do an overnighter or a several-day passage if it makes sense.
 

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Laura, you have no idea how good Dave's advice is. Maybe either you or your husband could stay on land with the kids while the other sails the boat with an experienced delivery captain down to Baltimore, or better yet, Norfolk.

The boat would be given a good shakedown on the trip, and at least one of you would gain a lot of sailing experience. Once the boat is in Norfolk, you would be in the company of a lot of other boats doing the icw trip. I bet you could even find a some folks to buddy boat with down the icw.

I won't say that the trip is cake once you are in the icw itself, but I know I would feel a lot safer if I were in your shoes starting out in Norfolk with all the family aboard.

I would question the sanity of a delivery captain who would do the trip from Maine to Norfolk with all of you, including the newborn aboard.

Scott
 

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Unfortunately we don't have anyone to leave the kids with so they'll have to come with us.
Hmm. Darn. The challenge is squeezing a delivery skipper/coach onto the boat with your whole family. I do think that is a good way to accelerate the learning curve.

It's not only about the sailing itself. There is weather forecasting, passage planning, provisioning, cooking underway, schedule management, navigation (as opposed to piloting), and personality management.

Thinking ...

You could split the trip into Newport - Bermuda and Bermuda - Norfolk with parents switching off, but the logistics and associated costs would be awkward. If you do that you MUST arrange a tour of Bermuda Radio and say hi to Nick for me.

I do still think the somewhat longer offshore legs are good for everyone - gain experience, confidence, less chance of bumping into something solid as you settle into the routine. Personally I like passages much better than bunny hopping from marina to marina - there is so much time required to get in and out, register, pay, yadda yadda yadda.

Conceivably you could find a good sailing instructor and have each of you sail out into the Atlantic for a couple of days, come back, and switch off. It wouldn't exactly be cheap.

If I think of something else useful I'll let you know.
 

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Laura, you have no idea how good Dave's advice is.
Thank you Scott. Very kind of you to say.

I do think you and your husband should - one way or another - get a little solid offshore exposure. I obviously don't know you or your relationship with one another; the risk is falling into blue/pink stereotypical roles which in turn means you are dependent on one person for particular skills. For life-safety capabilities like moving the boat at sea that has drawbacks. It is common, but not great.

Robert Heinlein, a famous science-fiction author said in Time Enough For Love: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." If you and your husband can both do most of those functions life will be happier for your family. If you teach your children to do them they will be happy and confident and self-sufficient; you will have made a major contribution to humankind in the process.

Enough pontificating on my part. Please write if there is anything I can contribute to your thought process. I dearly wish my parents had been as adventurous as you and your husband are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Auspicious,
Thanks for your great advice and kind words. We've been away all week on the boat so I am just back to this thread now.
I do think it would be a bit much for a delivery captain to be on a 38' boat with all of us. I don't think I would feel too comfortable being in tight quarters with someone I don't know either.
Taking an offshore/blue water course would be ideal. I am really leaning towards putting this off until next year and spending next summer sailing all around maine and gaining more experience. I believe there are offshore sailing courses offered up here so I'll have to look into that.
Laura
 

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hi,you will be fine,I'm sure!I have never been any farther north on the than charleston s.c.,but several times up and down south of there to about west palm beach fla.the others have given you good advice!just watch your depths and try very hard not to go aground at high tide.anchorages are pretty scarce down that way and transient slips are a little pricey,beaufort s.c. has a nice safe free anchorage and a dingy dock also if you need repairs lookup peter gamble at marsh harbour boat yard[great people]
 

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Laura,

In the spirit of adventure, I really think you should go now. However, I do think you are a day late and dollar short in terms of time and experience. You probably should have left Maine in early summer in order to do short hops and gain experience on a trip south.

You really could catch up in both time and experience, if one of you took the boat to Norfolk with an experienced delivery captain. I wouldn't think it would take more than a week or two (depending on where Hurricane Bill and future friends were headed), and more than a grand or two (depending on the captain's monetary needs).

It does make me a little sad that you are considering spending a cold winter in Maine, instead of heading out on an adventure to warmer climes.

Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
You really could catch up in both time and experience, if one of you took the boat to Norfolk with an experienced delivery captain. I wouldn't think it would take more than a week or two (depending on where Hurricane Bill and future friends were headed), and more than a grand or two (depending on the captain's monetary needs).

It does make me a little sad that you are considering spending a cold winter in Maine, instead of heading out on an adventure to warmer climes.
It makes us sad too! We are now back to talking about hiring a captain and having my husband go and I stay home with the kids and then meet him later. Do you think going to Chesapeake would be ok? We thought maybe we could go to the boat show in october. Would we be able to handle to boat from there after my husband has had a week or so experience with a captain? Or would it be better to go all the way to Norfolk?
The main reason we wanted to get down to FL this year is my dad has terminal cancer. My parents live in Melbourne and I thought we could anchor or moor close to them.
 

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Laura,

That sounds like a great plan! If you made it to the boat show, you would be right on time for the trip south. And of course, you would be in Annapolis where you could easily repair anything that broke during the delivery, or add any equipment that your husband and the captain found was missing.

Melbourne was as far south as I got on my trip. I really liked the Indian River. My admiral came down for Spring Break and spent a week on the boat with me there. It was her first extended cruise on the boat. I also saw a space shuttle launch while down there.

Sorry to hear about your dad.

Scott
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Heading to the Chesapeake would be fine. One benefit is that lots of cruisers use the Annapolis boat show as a launch point for heading south. The timing is good for insurance limitations on heading into the hurricane belt after November.

You could easily hook up with buddy boats, perhaps with similarly aged kids, to provide some mutual support on your way south.
 

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It makes us sad too! We are now back to talking about hiring a captain and having my husband go and I stay home with the kids and then meet him later. Do you think going to Chesapeake would be ok? We thought maybe we could go to the boat show in october. Would we be able to handle to boat from there after my husband has had a week or so experience with a captain? Or would it be better to go all the way to Norfolk?
The main reason we wanted to get down to FL this year is my dad has terminal cancer. My parents live in Melbourne and I thought we could anchor or moor close to them.
Sounds like the plan to me. Once you are in the Chesapeake getting to Norfolk is easy compared to the offshore stuff coming down. Running down the ditch will be a piece of cake. You will even get a few chances to hoist the rags.

Finding somewhere to anchor might be little more challenging. It is a bit of a hot topic down here with the position changing every so often as different bits of anti liveaboard legislation gets tested in court. Keep your eye on this site. Cruiser's Net | AnchoragesEF - All | Page 2 You might want to ask around for some cheap dockage too lots of empty condos with docks around there.

Go for it!
 
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