Sailing Doubts!

Nostrodamus

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We are about to set sail for that horizon that we all dream of sailing for.
I have prepared the boat as best I can but I sometimes doubt myself and if I have sufficient experience to look after my family in any eventuality. I have sailed for many years both here and abroad and now the time is here the doubts creep in.
We will go but it would add peace to my mind to find out how little or much experience others had before setting off on any voyage.
 

[2574]

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I sat beside Dee Caffari at a lunch recently and she mentioned that when she set off around the world Westabout via the Great Capes non-stop single handed she had never before sailed single handed! It was only when she left Falmouth on passage and her assisting crew disembarked to a support RIB that she experienced her first single handed sail. Not directly comparable to your plan but illustrative that people do set off in to the unknown whilst relatively inexperienced.

Rob
 

jordanbasset

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Hi,
can understand where you are coming from, although I have sailed for many years it was always a week or two every year and some weekends. Never owned a boat before and was worried about what could go wrong. My wife had similar doubts.
Can now say that although we had periods of concern we have never regretted it. What is really good is how helpful other liveaboards are on the way and also how are own skills have improved exponentially during this time.
Cannot speak for you but if you have half of the good times we have had you will love it
Good luck and best wishes

http://www.sailblogs.com/member/serenmor/
 
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Juniperskip

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Confidence......

Understandable to be apprehensive. If you prepare the boat well and have good information when you plan passages then you will get more confident as you go on. I had a lot of experience before we set off on 10,000 miles but the family, in relative terms, did not so managing situations becomes key. Reef early and never be stubborn in keeping to your plan regardless is the key IMHO. For example if you are heading for La Coruna and the latest grib files show headwinds upto 20kts, bear away and explore one of the beautiful Calas on the North coast of Spain.

The only time we felt our decision making was pressurised was when we had deadlines to make a port to meet friends.

The rich reward of the trip will soon remove the concerns and the experience will improve your decision making.....
 

maxi77

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To be honest having done the same last year, I was apprehensive before every passage, and I think that is a good thing, it makes you check and keep checking and have back up plans, and that keeps you safe.

I have worried about all sorts of things on the passage, and the only time I got over confident I very nearly cocked it up.

In general fear keeps you safer than foolhardiness so is a good thing.

You will enjoy it I am sure, good luck
 

chinita

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To be honest having done the same last year, I was apprehensive before every passage, and I think that is a good thing, it makes you check and keep checking and have back up plans, and that keeps you safe.

I have worried about all sorts of things on the passage, and the only time I got over confident I very nearly cocked it up.

In general fear keeps you safer than foolhardiness so is a good thing.

You will enjoy it I am sure, good luck

Absolutely agree with all of that.

I am apprehensive for days before any passage. The responsibilities of any skipper are enormous and should never be understated.

With your healthy concerns I am sure you will make an excellent skipper in any situation.
 

gonad

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confidence

never let ANYBODY pressure you to be in the next port by such and such a day "when will you be there?" is the killer otherwise confidence comes as you sail
 

macd

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All sage words so far. Apprehension, and the care it encourages, is good; neuroticism is not. I'd be more concerned it you weren't apprehensive.

Years ago when a couple of hours into my first extended solo cruise I texted a friend, a vastly experienced sailor, to say I was off -- and damn scared. He texted back that I should remember how the dog ate the elephant.
"What?", I texted back.
"A piece at a time", he responded.
It's calmed me many a time since.

(And look, not a single acronym. :))
 
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Baggy

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I,am a worrier by nature..

The first few weeks/months whilst cruising, my doubts did get the better of me.
It did not help getting caught out in bad weather in Biscay, I was very frightened, thought was this for me.

But as time went on my confidence grew.. the joy of sailing, travelling and the freedom, it brings
will by far out weigh the doubts..

Now planning my next cruise.. can wait to get back to sea


Your adventure now begins .. Enjoy
 

grumpygit

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Years ago when I gained my pilots licence the instructor told me I was a safe pilot but now the licence was to learn by building experience, I believe this was/is sound advice.....be safe and as Captain keep you crew/family safe.
Let’s face it, we have all gone out into new territories, apprehension and even a touch of fear makes you safe, it’s self preservation, we are humans not machines. Remember, it’s complacency that can be the death of you.
You’ve plenty of experience so you just have to put it all together and I’m sure you’ll all be fine. We all learn as we go on and only a fool knows everything.

___________________________________________________________________
 

TQA

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I left the UK at the start of a 7 year liveaboard stint never having made a significant ocean crossing and having to use my sextant skills for real for the first time.

Two things I learned

1 be patient and wait for a good weather window.

2 if the forecast weather is wrong you can always turn back and wait for better weather. EG I was booked in to do the ARC but when they left with the wind on the nose and a bad forecast I stayed in port and waited till the trades set in a month later.

I too had doubts. One thing that helped was a I had a copy of Shrimpy by Shane Acton. Any time I had the wobbles about what I was doing I read a chapter from his book. He circumnavigated in a 18 foot plywood Caprice and had never even had the mast up when he left.
 

Sy-Revolution

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We had very little experience before setting off, a couple of N sea crossings, an east coast cruise and a trip to France.

You don't gain experience staying in port. As said above try not to let outside concerns affect your decisions, nor shoreside bravado. Just make sure you make the right choices based on the safety of your ship and crew.

Procrastination is the thief of time.


We now have over 3000 miles under our keel..... :)
 

Richard10002

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More or less ditto:

I was a navigating officer in the Merchant Navy in a previous life, had been sailing on other peoples yachts for 30 years, and was often the person that people looked to in a crisis, or merely for general advice.

Bought my own boat with the same plans as you, (Moody 44 in 2006), and became a gibbering wreck :)

Managed Malta and back over the next 3 years, with quite a bit of single handed day sailing, and usually fairly novice crew for overnights and longer.

Always anxious/apprehensive before a trip, and prior to an arrival - concluded it was in my nature, and not a bad thing.

I did my Yachtmaster theory and practical in Lagos, learned loads, and still got the heeby-jeebys on a regular basis :)

Watch the weather - you don't have to go anywhere. You can always go with the wind, rather than against it. Headlands can magnify the wind massively, so often worth ploughing on for a few hours.

Do whatever you can to get an Internet connection, both in port, and on the go, (near land obviously). Wifi is usually available in port. PAYG Sims are widely available. Gives you access to weather in a multitude of formats, all the other info on offer, and these forums, which are invaluable.

Don't leave your dinghy in the water for 3 weeks in Syracusa, Sicily. It will be encrusted with rock hard barnacles, as will the hull of your boat. How do I know?:(

Crossing Biscay, look for 5 days of settled weather - either a steady high pressure system, or the back end of a low, with the next one 5 days behind.

If there are any areas of knowledge you are concerned about, the RYA courses are really good. Before leaving I did the Diesel Engine course and, (for SWMBOs benefit), an Inland Waterways Helmsmans Course, as well as updating my VHF with the DSC course.

If you don't already know, you will soon discover that marinas cost a fortune in the sailing season, and you will be much better off anchoring wherever you can. I wish I had had a New Generation anchor, (Rocna, Manson Supreme, Spade......), and a better dinghy, along with an easier launch/retrieve system than heaving it over, and hauling it back inboard.

I also wish I had had a Sterling, or Adverc, or Driftmate, system for charging the batteries quicker from the engine. Also wish I had had a Honda petrol generator.

Fill up with water and fuel at every opportunity - you never know what's ahead.

Have a great time, and enjoy every minute.

Richard
 

cornish 2

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Know the feeling !

I'm in the same boat. I'm setting off with a couple of friends on Good Friday, heading to Corsica. I going through the same emotions.
Just got onto shift to read my work mails to find out that a 52 year old friend who I work with has died of lung cancer. It times like this, that reminds me why I'm doing it.
My plan is to take it easy, enjoy it, do as much as I can to make sure its enjoyable and if it isn't, I'll stop!
At least I have followed my dream.


Richard

R.I.P Wim Starreveld
 

Nostrodamus

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I did think twice about posting question but reading the replies have made me glad I did.
Before buying our own boat I sailed a lot with friends on club boats and was always the mellow one who was quiet happy to take everything in unless I thought something was dangerous to the boat or crew. I was also the one everyone turned to for tricky entrances or for advice.
When sailing with my wife she has always said that the only time she has heard me shout is on the first day of a cruise but after that I’m fine (I know its apprehension)
Having now bought our own boat and sailing with the family has changed my outlook and made me doubtful of my own skills even though I am sailing a better boat that I know and understand more.
The one aspect I made sure of before we set out was making the boat as safe as possible (new rigging, sails, chart plotter at helm, engine thoroughly checked and serviced, new rocna anchor, new life jackets, fire extinguisher, AIS and instruments to name but a few).
I am excited about going but like most of us apprehensive about the “what if’s”. The good thing I suppose is that I am thinking about the “what ifs” and looking at plan B, C and D.
To know that so many of you have been through the same thoughts and fears before your own journeys has helped tremendously and I thank each and every one of you for your valid points
 

Blue5

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I did think twice about posting question but reading the replies have made me glad I did.
Before buying our own boat I sailed a lot with friends on club boats and was always the mellow one who was quiet happy to take everything in unless I thought something was dangerous to the boat or crew. I was also the one everyone turned to for tricky entrances or for advice.
When sailing with my wife she has always said that the only time she has heard me shout is on the first day of a cruise but after that I’m fine (I know its apprehension)
Having now bought our own boat and sailing with the family has changed my outlook and made me doubtful of my own skills even though I am sailing a better boat that I know and understand more.
The one aspect I made sure of before we set out was making the boat as safe as possible (new rigging, sails, chart plotter at helm, engine thoroughly checked and serviced, new rocna anchor, new life jackets, fire extinguisher, AIS and instruments to name but a few).
I am excited about going but like most of us apprehensive about the “what if’s”. The good thing I suppose is that I am thinking about the “what ifs” and looking at plan B, C and D.
To know that so many of you have been through the same thoughts and fears before your own journeys has helped tremendously and I thank each and every one of you for your valid points

Snap, were off in a months time, have only done one channel crossing before. Like you the boat is ready and prepared we have a certain amount of trepidation
We have decided to take our time, go across to The Channel Islands and around the inside of Biscay with a maximum 2 day sail. We have deliberately not applied time constraints.

If you see us give us a wave.........
 

ukmctc

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being safe, not being rushed, and enjoying it. Experience you get doing it, there is no training for this.
We had no training at all and no experience what so ever, so decided to sail the UK first.
The fear of the unknown is always there, but the excitement of doing or seeing new things is greater and off you go, you never do enough checks, you will always forget something, and when it goes wrong, its usually big, and at the end of it you have a laugh about it.

I just remember that we are doing what most people just dream about.
 

GrahamM376

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I think we all have to accept there are eventualities where maybe we won't be able to look after everyone as however carefully we prepare, there are outside influences. Much is the same even when driving to work.

The best we can do is to prepare as well as possible, stick to our own judgment and not "follow the crowd" if not comfortable and, make sure the crew can handle the boat and stand watch when you're asleep or knackered.

I was amazed with one couple we sailed in company with for a while, they had sailed from the UK to Portugal and were halfway back and his only crew member still didn't know how to start the engine!
 

bill bligh

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Sailing Doubts

Hi it was a long time ago when my wife and I set sail long befor we had computers and internet after you have all the important things ticked off on your check list (only you can make that list) JUST DO IT. IMHO I think there is maybe to much information avabile at the push of a button and it puts people off as long as your sensible you will be OK
wishing you all the best
Bill
 

Baggy

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During my sailing travels, I met an Australian couple in there seventies

They had bought a modest boat for there retirement to sail from Melbourne to Tasmania..
and here they are 10 years later in the canaries, having sailed halfway around the world,
Been everywhere.. They were very inspiring..
 
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