Sailing Doubts!

KellysEye

Active member
Joined
23 Jul 2006
Messages
12,695
Location
Emsworth Hants
www.kellyseye.net
When we left the UK we were nervous about leaving. Once we were underway the nervousness disappeared. After six and a half years we were still nervous about leaving. I think being nervous is quite normal, apart from anything else it concntrates the mind on preparation and mentally rhearsing 'what if' solutions.
 

Conachair

Guest
Joined
24 Jan 2004
Messages
5,162
Location
London
Visit site
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.

I'm always nervous before any passage, even across a bay. But I think if you can sail round the UK then it just gets easier as you head south. Get Biscay out of the way and you don't even have to get up at 5am to catch the tide any more. :cool:

And the only way to get experience of cruising type of sailing is to go and do it!



Not sure of other peoples experience but i found while cruising no one really talked about sailing very much, beyond the "passage was fine".

It's all about boat maintenance.
 

duncan99210

Well-known member
Joined
29 Jul 2009
Messages
6,327
Location
Winter in Falmouth, summer on board Rampage.
djbyrne.wordpress.com
When we left the Menai Straits in July 2009, the longest passage we'd made by ourselves was a crossing to Howth in Ireland. Was I worried about setting off - you bet I was. And we learned a hard lesson almost as soon as we departed. As we headed south to cross the Bristol Channel, the wind turned southerly and increased to about Force 6. We were making no progress and had to run for shelter in Milford Haven, where we sat for a few days waiting for the wind to change to something a bit more suitable. When it did, we then set of for Flamouth and beyond.

The lesson we learnt was that you doing what we are doing (and what you want to do) there are no deadlines to meet other than those you impose on yourself. GET RID OF THEM!! If you've got people coming to visit you, then they come in the understanding that you may not be there when they arrive, 'cos you're waiting for the wind. Your home is your boat and the safety of your home and your crew is more important than anything else; take care of them and they'll take care of you, and that includes knowing when to say 'Hmmm, weather's a bit iffy today, let's stay put here until it blows through'.

Yes, there will be times when you get caught out and you need to have enough sailing knowledge to survive on those occassions but if you've planned it properly and taken your time, then the nasty bits should be few and far between.

I could go on for ever but take heart in the fact that both J and I worry before we set out on a long crossing and try to make sure we've covered all the angles before setting off. When we made the crossing last year from Menorca to Sardinia, the autopilot died just before we were due to leave. So we decided to stay another night in Adaya and fix it before setting off the following evening - don't pressure yourselves into making mistakes!

What you're about to do is one of the last excapes from the mad world of 9 - 5 and careers. Enjoy it and don't worry too much.....;)
 
Last edited:

KellysEye

Active member
Joined
23 Jul 2006
Messages
12,695
Location
Emsworth Hants
www.kellyseye.net
>The lesson we learnt was that you doing what we are doing (and what you want to do) there are no deadlines to meet other than those you impose on yourself. GET RID OF THEM!! If you've got people coming to visit you, then they come in the understanding that you may not be there when they arrive, 'cos you're waiting for the wind. Your home is your boat and the safety of your home and your crew is more important than anything else; take care of them and they'll take care of you, and that includes knowing when to say 'Hmmm, weather's a bit iffy today, let's stay put here until it blows through'.

Yes, there will be times when you get caught out and you need to have enough sailing knowledge to survive on those occassions but if you've planned it properly and taken your time, then the nasty bits should be few and far between.

Entirely agree. We had been in a number of gales in different boats but not the one we set off in. We got pasted over Biscay and were relaxed about heavy weather after that because both we and the boat performed well/safely. To put the pasting into context, in our area a Cat hove to using both engines, a big Ketch ran off towing drogues and a local fishing sank with the loss of all hands. Not pleasant.
 

rallyveteran

New member
Joined
30 Mar 2002
Messages
468
Visit site
My wife and I did a 5 year circumnavigation on a yacht like yours. I'd worry more about keeping the boat and its crew going than the weather. Internet resources mean you are much less likely to get caught out than you were and once you get closer to the tropics the weather is a lot more predictable as long as you avoid hurricane season. The worst weather I've ever encountered was in the English Channel!

I started with a new boat. You've just had a lot of work done. If I had my time again I'd do more sailing close to home to test everything out while there is still a chance that I can get it back to whoever did it to put it right. This may seem counter intuitive, in that you will perceive that your target is to get to the Med (or whereever) as fast as possible, but three months thrashing backwards and forwards across the North Sea would make it much more likely that you would find faults while you are still in range of Fox's, yet still give you time to cross Biscay before the end of July. And even in the age of DHL, and low cost flights, it will be much easier to get the spares you need while you are still in UK waters than in almost any other European country.

And do we still worry? Not much. I still remember the first time we crossed the Channel to go as far as St Malo, rather than our usual first stop in Cherbourg. We made sure to have an experienced crew on board, and made sandwiches in case we didn't fancy cooking. Roll forward a few years and if a passage was 500 miles or less we pretty much used to untie and go.

Enjoy.

Rallyveteran
 

pteron

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2004
Messages
870
pteron.org
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.

Many thanks for bringing this up - I wasn't aware of this book and have now spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon reading it!
 

Brian blue bear

New member
Joined
13 Nov 2009
Messages
223
Location
Cardiff
Visit site
We left the UK in late september 2010, no more than a few weeks experience and a few hundred miles, under our belt, we have dodged poor weather and rough seas gaining friends and Experince to our present position the Canaries. all I can say is I'm glad I did it and all the comments you read here will be repeated by many different nationalities when you sail into marinas and anchorages as you make your Journey.
 

Other threads that may be of interest

Top