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Thread: LongPac Experiences

  1. #1
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    Default LongPac Experiences

    While I am looking forward to hearing from the sailors who finished the long pac, I would also appreciate hearing some stories from those people who chose to come back in without finishing the race. Obviously there were a number of the same people who finished the single handed farallones, which from all accounts was NOT a walk in the park. At what point do reasonable people, fine and competent sailors who know their boats, decide to turn around? Any chance of this?
    Last edited by BobJ; 07-26-2011 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    I would also appreciate hearing some stories from those people who chose to come back in without finishing the race.
    Jackie, I'll describe my own decision process.

    It was Thursday evening when the wind was picking up. Rom my crew had been seasick for most of the race. He was recovering by that time, but he was probably still dehydrated and I was a little worried about his physical condition, and I was very tired myself. That part is odd, because if I'd been singlehanding I would have expected to be tired and dealt with it. But having expected to divide the labor, I felt more deprived and at risk.

    Around dusk Thursday we found that to make any significant westing we had to come up nearly to a beam reach, and we had a lot of weather helm. (We had the #4 up and two reefs in the main; I really wish I'd tried putting in the third reef.) Also we were getting wet from waves hitting the beam, so it was pretty uncomfortable. And the autopilot starting acting up; the fluxgate compass was giving it screwy headings so it wouldn't hold a course. The conditions weren't unmanageable, but we were faced with hand steering all night when neither of us was at our best. I was afraid one of us would make a big mistake, or that a bigger than average wave would hit us, maybe worst case a knockdown.

    We could crack off to a broad reach and it was a world of difference: fast, easy and fun. But on starboard this had us pointing due south which didn't seem very useful. (In retrospect again, I wish we'd taken this option. 50 miles south the wind may have been lighter, and there was more than enough wind to get us out to the line and home in reasonable time. I guess I got fixated at the beginning of the race on when I ought to be able to finish, and I didn't want to stick it out when it looked like it would take much longer.)

    So, out of frustration, discomfort and worry, but not any real danger, we chicken-jibed around and did our fast, easy and fun sailing back towards home.

    Max

  3. #3
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    Default

    thank you, Max! As always, a well reasoned and articulate response from our Commodore. I love reading this stuff! Maybe some others will be willing to share at the meeting? Standing up in front of everybody. In public. Holding the microphone up just so in a receptive area of the room ...

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    Default If you thought OUR ship traffic freaked you out...

    Here's the traffic around Guernsey during a Figaro race. I believe the Figaros are required to have AIS transceivers (vs. just receivers like us for LongPac), and they would show on this chart in pink.

    Imagine drifting around in that with no wind and trying to catch a nap.

    http://www.digimap.gg/ais

  5. #5
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    Default Frogger

    A pretty well defined shipping channel. but just like with the old frogger video game, you better have a plan to get out before you enter it. Yikes.

  6. #6
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    Default I remember...

    I used to sail between the Netherlands, England, and France during the 80's
    I remember the first night crossing of the channel. The shipping lanes are like highways. We had to wait a while to cross the South > North traffic lane, get in between and wait for a good moment to cross the North > South lane. No AIS or radar, hell we didn't have GPS in those days..
    Many races in the fog, hearing fog horns all around you, no visibility and hearing prop noise when down below. I did 5-10 offshore races a year for many years. We often got really close, but we never really got in trouble with commercial traffic...

    It's a pleasure to sail out of San Francisco, there is hardly any traffic here..

  7. #7
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    Seattle
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    I learned to sail on the Channel around Cherbourg. Close to the coast there's not a whole lot of traffic, but crossing gets pretty exciting.

    There's also the rocks and reefs (Chausey, les Minquiers), and huge tides and currents... What a beautiful area though.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2009
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    Yeah, you are right about the big tides and currents. There can be a 30 feet difference in some places. It's insane. I remember making 7 knots through the water and still going backwards...
    It is beautiful and visiting the different ports is a great experience!
    Hmmm, I should tell some of my old sailing friends that I want to join them for a race...

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