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Discussion Starter #1
Ahoy there mates. I've enjoyed reading some of the posts and look forward to learning from you all.

I've had a 1978 Pearson 31' - and oldie but goodie - the past 6+ years. Been sailing her in the Chesapeake Bay and loving every minute of it. Only started sailing 10 yrs ago so still learning. She was in good condition when I bought her and I've done a lot of work to keep her that way.
I've had 2 fishing boats the 20 yrs before that - mostly in DE Bay, NJ back bays and some ocean.

The Pearson is now in DE for the winter and will be bringing her to the NJ Shore area this spring. I can't wait. I have spring fever already. Goal is to get ocean sailing experience.
Issue is - I have not yet EVER sailed on the ocean on my boat or another's. I know the DE and Chesapeake Bays can be wicked, and I have experienced a LOT OF WEATHER over the years. I understand bay chop /wave length versus ocean wave length, but ... just have not been there yet.

Any suggestions? Concerns? Ideas?
Thanks!
 

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Senior Smart Aleck
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... I can't wait. I have spring fever already. Goal is to get ocean sailing experience...

Any suggestions? Concerns? Ideas?
Thanks!
Ahoy there, matie! Welcome to Sailnet!

In order to sail in the ocean, you have one of two choices:

1. The certification route:

a. Obtain a certificate, suitable for framing, from an ASA-approved sailing school, indicating that you have successfully completed all the requirements of a bluewater sailing course. Make sure your instructor has a certificate, suitable for framing, indicating that he or she has been approved to teach students blue-water sailing. You might first have to complete a set of ASA courses, including the bluewater sailing course, offered by the sponsors of this website; and,

b. Obtain a certificate, suitable for framing, that your boat has all the ISAF Cat 1 equipment and gear required for offshore racing/sailing/cruising. The inspector must possess a certificate, suitable for framing, indicating that he or she has passed all the requirements for inspecting vessels for bluewater sailing. You may have to buy a liferaft, EPIRB, and/or other equipment, and/or make structural changes to your sailboat, such as adding watertight bulkheads, with materials and/or supplies sold by the sponsors of this website; or,

2. Make sure you have a pair of gonads in your shorts (no additional training, certifications or gear necessary).

In any event, the good news is help is just a push button away. With an EPIRB on board, you can summon help from the Coast Guard in the event:

1. You feel seasick;
2. You don't like the weather forecast; or
3. You run out of salsa and chips.

If you do activate your EPIRB, make sure you come up with a good excuse for requiring a rescue at taxpayer expense. Here are some of the favorites:

1. Crew member throwing up blood;
2. Wife or crew member set off EPIRB, after locking self in head/cabin; and,
3. Engine inoperable, batteries dead, sails shredded, and water coming inside cabin (you will not be held accountable for any of this "happening" to you, since these events could not possibly be anticipated, even though they have been occurring for centuries).

You might lose your sailboat if you do activate your EPIRB, unless you can convince the Coast Guard to tow you in; however, you will have plenty of defenders here on Sailnet, with these kinds of rationalizations:

1. No one can possibly criticize you without being onboard your boat in the exact circumstances, even though the predicted/recorded conditions, vessel description and actions take, were available to all;
2. No one can possibly criticize your decision without spending some portion of their life sailing in the ocean;
3. No one can possibly criticize your decision unless he or she has some kind of certificate, suitable for framing; or,
4. The conditions were much worse than predicted by all reliable scientific indications and/or recorded by all scientific instrumentation available in the vicinity.

Good luck and happy sailing!

P.S. Please buy some gear and take some lessons from the Sailnet sponsors!
 

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CaptLDL, Don't mind James, he's a little "preoccupied" with some of the wisdom being shared by the sailnet experts in another thread.
We don't have protected bays etc. so everyone starts on the open ocean, we get anxious when less than a mile from shore. It's actually easier, you only got to avoid land in one direction at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow - thanks for the info. James. It does have me a bit concerned as I am not quite THAT prepared! I am not planning on crossing the Atlantic yet.

Thanks for the welcome :)
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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One thing you can do over the winter is download the USCG Coastal Pilot for the NJ shoreline. Of particular interest are the sections on the various ocean inlets of the NJ shoreline. Coastal Pilot #3 covers your area.
United States Coast Pilot®

Welcome to Sailnut & don't mind James - he's just having some fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a great suggestion. I will do that. Thank you. No worries about James' - it's good to know there are people to consult when I need a comprehensive response :)
 

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On a more serious note, in addition to a local piloting/cruising guide, I recommend you buy Eldridge's Tide and Pilot Book for 2013, and two Maptech Chartkits, for Regions 3 and 4, Region 3 for New York to Nantucket and to Cape May, N.J., and Region 4, for Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.

You should also study my vast library of YouTube videos concerning sailing in your area:


 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you James. I do have all paper charts as well as the chart books for the upper chesapeake bay and the NJ Coast.. I also have the Cruising Guides to all the areas I have been in the past 6 yrs or intend to be in this next season. Yesterday I downloaded the Coast Pilot #3 and have been working my way through the information. Have not gotten to #4 yet. I try to avoid purchasing as much as possible so the free download was great!

I have found U Tube videos helpful and entertaining over the years. When I have time - typically winter months- I read and watch as many things as possible. I have also taken videos of myself w/ crew and solo in the Chesapeake but never posted any... although I totally enjoy watch others I cannot imagine other's wanting to see my videos. Maybe one day.

Thanks for your advise and I do welcome any further suggestions!
Lisa
 
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