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If you're like me about four hours into the first day of a passage you start to get antsy. What do you do to pass the time on a passage? For the purposes of this question I'd call anything longer than a day a passage.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
No longer Nassau, next home unknown
 

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Read books, write, inspect the rigging, do little maintenance tasks that otherwise would go undone.
 

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I found it to be rather relaxing after the excitement of getting underway wore off. Spent time fishing, reading and playing cards. It's also a good time to practice those knots that are not frequently used. We also had a routine set for position updates and rig checks. And I found myself snacking a lot. After about the second day sleep becomes a leading time consumer.
 

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Set your autopilot to sail a constant TWA and play with sail trim and watch the AWA and knot meter

Then set it to constant AWA and do the same thing (watching TWA instead).

Go up the mast and take pictures

Maybe your passages aren't long enough? I've found that the entertainment virtually takes care of itself after the first day.... either the weather forces you to be "on" or you've managed to get yourself into all sorts of stupid games/competitions with the rest of the crew
 

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I'll listen to NPR, BBC, "book" radio, or old radio shows on XM, gives you someone to talk back to when you feel like an argument and can't come here.;)
 

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On the first clear night, while looking at the amazing amount of stars, the same question always seems to pop up. Ya think there's really life out there? Then the really good conversations start, and you find yourself waiting for the next clear night to come.
I digress! Sigh!
Marc
 

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that's cause there's very little light pollution to wipe out the stars out on the open ocean. :)
On the first clear night, while looking at the amazing amount of stars, the same question always seems to pop up. Ya think there's really life out there? Then the really good conversations start, and you find yourself waiting for the next clear night to come.
I digress! Sigh!
Marc
 

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re: clear night and stars - on passage at night I usually spend an inordinate amount of time puzzling over whether that bright light that I see is really a star on the horizon, a plane on the horizon, a stern light on a boat or a (argh) steaming light on a boat heading at me without port/starboard running lights.

During the daylight, passage time is touch up varnish, metal polish, checking for chafe, repacking lockers and doing the general puttering around that I love to do while Joan reads after finishing the crossword puzzle of the day. I also tend to think about food alot - unless it's crap, on the nose weather and then I think about sun and following winds (so, I guess I dream on passages!)
 

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Perhaps it's because of my long years of racing, but I find on long passages I am either sleeping or busy with boatwork - trimming sails, fixing things, making meals, navigating. The beauty of cruising is that I can also take time to look around at the empty horizon and feel the joy of just being there!
 

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I hereby nominate this for the most informative sailnet, nay... whole internet post ever
this scares the life out of me because everytime I've though SD has some good insight, was I really just so dumb that most common knowledge is lost on me?
 

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Set your autopilot to sail a constant TWA and play with sail trim and watch the AWA and knot meter

Then set it to constant AWA and do the same thing (watching TWA instead).

Go up the mast and take pictures

Maybe your passages aren't long enough? I've found that the entertainment virtually takes care of itself after the first day.... either the weather forces you to be "on" or you've managed to get yourself into all sorts of stupid games/competitions with the rest of the crew
I would really like to see some of those pictures! I have been interested in the kite photos/videos being done lately to the point I bought a cheap water proof digital camera and a kite... now I need some time to perfect the skills...
 

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We tend to try and get as much rest as possible because when things go wrong it's always when you're tired never when you just woke up and are totally refreshed.
 

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What to to on long passages...

Like others, we take care of maintenance items. I've sanded, painted/varnished when I could. Bruce has a gas-powered generator and upon occassion would use it to run power tools (Amphora's engine room was quite roomy!). Bruce made alot of our accommodations while underway on (e.g., bunks, cabinetry, shelves, & handrails for our boat).

Dry days take care of the laundry. I constantly clean and make sure items are properly stored and check portholes and hatches and seacocks... and follow behind Bruce to make sure his tools don't go overboard. :rolleyes:


Curl-up somewhere with a good book (Bruce on the Manawa Nui, a 1941 55' Ketch).


Think about what to make for dinner.


See what the neighbors are up to.


Test rattlings (which I made underway). Or perhaps, listen to a little mood music (Bruce and his sons play, I don't.)

Bruce and I take turns reading to one another or if it's just the two of us? Other things. ;)

When the weather starts to turn ugly? Make a pot of most excellent coffee and prepare and store a few easy-to-keep-downsnacks and/or meals just-in-case the galley needs to close. And again, check that items are stowed and hatches/portholes are buttoned up.

Michele
 
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