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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Quote Originally Posted by maby View Post
    There's a degree of risk in everything we do. Some people enjoy the buzz that comes from extreme danger and others, like me, are pretty risk averse - you choose your lifestyle and activities to match your risk appetite. Men have been crossing oceans for a long time - long before the invention of GPS and radar - even long before the invention of chronometers and sextants which allowed them to know their location even to the accuracy of a few tens of miles. The thing is that quite a lot of them died doing it!

    Personally speaking, I go sailing for the pleasure of moving in a relaxed manner driven by the wind. I'm not looking for the buzz of risk, and I would not consider crossing oceans. I want my boat fully loaded with technology to minimise risk. Others may take a different attitude, though I'm willing to bet that the majority of those here that decry technology are not actually far less risk averse than me - they just don't think it will happen to them!
    Good post, but..I don't think loading a boat minimises risk, it dilutes the attention and distracts people from fundamental things like keeping a lookout, preserving night vision, and learning to make decisions.
    A quick example: I was near the end of my watch on an ocean delivery, in pleasant weather at night, it was dark and I could see an infinite mumber of stars, and I had been steering by them for a few hours.
    My replacement came up on deck, went straight to the huge chart plotter/radar/AIS screen at the wheel, and turned it on, pressing buttons frantically, scrolling through various options, until he was satisfied we were not about to hit anything (600M from land) before taking the wheel. He then had to turn up the compass light to full power as he had no night vision..
    Another example is the new delusion that you can't cross the channel without AIS, and I have seen someone else fiddling with the awkward menu on some little chinese AIS gadget, to find out what the ships in sight were doing..while you could see thm plainly from the helm and we had about 3 HBC's on board..I could go on at length, but point to the OP is do not worry about little far king gadgets but learn to sail the boat and use the basics like a compass and a shipping forecast. You will probably have a dangerous encounter with fatigue, gear failure, getting lost etc if you go with your present level of experience, but it's a good way of learning lessons the hard way, and you will probably survive, so I would be the last person to discourage you. I asked for advice about a trip on here, and received a tirade of dire warnings and tut-tuttings, flatly stating it was too deangerous, too risky, irresponsible, etc etc. I've done it now
    Last edited by Ohlin Karcher; 15-09-19 at 08:55.
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Quote Originally Posted by ross84 View Post
    Thanks all!

    I'd like to keep the boat in Liverpool (which I understand isn't the best area for cruising because of the mersey).
    Iíve wintered the past couple of years in Liverpool and didnít find it the easiest area to learn to sail with the strong tidal streams and only having 2 1/2 hours either side of HW. If youíre living on the boat primarily youíll probably be fine and itís a nice quiet spot considering you can walk into town in 20 minutes - never found it rough despite it being right next to Toxteth. However, if you want to go sailing regularly, single handed, with limited experience I really wouldnít recommend it. Youíll either be limited to staying out for a whole tide or riding it up the river and back again with the current making it hard to judge what effect your actions are having. If youíre planning on longer trips and thatís just the starting point then it probably wonít matter, although the options will be quite limited.

    An issue with living at Liverpool marina could be the facilities which are fine for cleaning yourself off but arenít the nicest. Also isnít ideal that the toilets are shared with the pub. If I lived there full time Iíd look to join a gym for nicer showers but maybe Iím just a bit of a snowflake!

    This is only my second season but for actual sailing Iíve found the Clyde to be a far better option for us. Itís a longer drive but we mostly donít have to worry about the tide, especially not to the same extend as Port Dinorwic (Wales) when we couldnít get out to the mooring at certain points of tide and were extremely limited by the tidal gates which, although manageable, makes planning weekend trips difficult (what time can I get on with the tide, where can we go on this tide - have we missed the bar or swellies, what time do we need to set off to get back through the next day, is there still enough water to get from the mooring to the inner harbour). If youíre looking to sail try to get somewhere you can get on and off at all states of tide and actually go sailing no matter what time it is, especially if your time is limited. Like us, it may serve you better to spend more time in the car but have the option of doing something when youíre there.

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