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New sailor, want to cross the Pacific, guide me.

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Created by sailor92 6 months ago, 12 Feb 2018
sailor92
5 posts
12 Feb 2018 6:28AM
Thumbs Up

Hi everyone,

I'm new to sailing. I've been on sail boats before a few times, but always as a passenger only. Well I have decided that I want to cross the Pacific Ocean from Queensland Australia to California. It's pretty much a spiritual thing for me. Obviously, I am aware that there's a lot of stuff to know in order to survive this kind of journey. I want to know what is the steps I should take in order to build up my skills as a sailor so that I know just enough to survive if I were on my own on the trip. Which books do I need to read, in terms of equipment (boats, auto-pilot etc), sailing techniques and control, sailing routes, seasonal weather conditions, possible threats/dangers. EVERYTHING necessary, I want to learn, which books I need as well and what kinda experience I should gun for. I really don't know EXACTLY what im getting into so I want you all to give me realistic heads up.

I was thinking of first trying my hand at sailing at a local club, than maybe sailing coastally for a while, in order to get some sea miles. But also what kinda "specific" things would I need to learn, like sail routes across the Pacific, ideal stop-over locations... Thanks for the help everyone.

samsturdy
NSW, 1208 posts
12 Feb 2018 9:43AM
Thumbs Up

There are very experienced deep blue water sailors on this forum who will probably be
shuddering in their shoes reading your blog...MB would be one.
Were I in your place I'd be sailing in a Quantas 747.

Good luck.

UncleBob
NSW, 257 posts
12 Feb 2018 10:46AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
samsturdy said..
There are very experienced deep blue water sailors on this forum who will probably be
shuddering in their shoes reading your blog...MB would be one.
Were I in your place I'd be sailing in a Quantas 747.

Good luck.


Sam, I couldn't agree more !
One thing though, there aint no U in QANTAS !

Jolene
844 posts
12 Feb 2018 8:13AM
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Select to expand quote
UncleBob said..


samsturdy said..
There are very experienced deep blue water sailors on this forum who will probably be
shuddering in their shoes reading your blog...MB would be one.
Were I in your place I'd be sailing in a Quantas 747.

Good luck.




Sam, I couldn't agree more !
One thing though, there aint no U in QANTAS !




Come on guys,,,,So are people just born with some sort of legendary sailing status to be able to sail across an ocean or is it possible to learn the skill of sailing from hands on practical, theory and mentoring.???

Get down to your local sailing club, start sailing and snooping around. There will be people there that have sailed across oceans.
Vanuatu, Line Islands, Hawaii,,,sounds awesome.

Wander66
QLD, 160 posts
12 Feb 2018 10:29AM
Thumbs Up

You could be the next Alex Rust see below for the true story of "the worst sailor to ever sail around the world."

samsturdy
NSW, 1208 posts
12 Feb 2018 11:59AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
UncleBob said..

samsturdy said..
There are very experienced deep blue water sailors on this forum who will probably be
shuddering in their shoes reading your blog...MB would be one.
Were I in your place I'd be sailing in a Quantas 747.

Good luck.



Sam, I couldn't agree more !
One thing though, there aint no U in QANTAS !


Sorry UncleBob you are perfectly correct, it's my English literature schooling getting the better of me.
Seriously though...the sense of adventure has to be admired but the Pacific Ocean is HUGE and some
of the stories I have read of what experienced sailors have faced makes me wonder if the thrill factor
will be greatly overshadowed by the fear factor. MB has told me about masts pumping etc. I can understand
Sailor92's wanting to experience the spiritual aspect of it but. frankly, setting out half cocked you're likely
to be joining the spirit world sooner than you think. However, nothing ventured nothing gained. If he's
going single handed then he's only got himself to worry about, but, if he's taking inexperienced crew too then......

Toph
WA, 1252 posts
12 Feb 2018 9:49AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
sailor92 said..
Which books do I need to read, in terms of equipment (boats, auto-pilot etc), sailing techniques and control, sailing routes, seasonal weather conditions, possible threats/dangers.




Read Jimmy Cornells World Cruising Routes first. You will quickly realise you are going the wrong way. Outside of the Monsoon season the trade winds are East to West.........

Then read every other cruising guide you can get your hands on.

Everyone has already jumped on your back about this but nowhere did I see what time frame you want to do this in. To me it sounds like you are starting off on the right track and asking questions first, then off to the local club and gain some experience. Halfway from the Panama Canal to the Marquesas is a bloody long way to realise the cruising life is not for you. So I agree in getting some smaller passages in.

It is not rocket science. Don't let people have you believe that it is......

tomooh
119 posts
12 Feb 2018 9:55AM
Thumbs Up

Just do it but in the other direction,leaving California and sailing to Australia. If you believe everything on you tube it's normally a fairly reasonable trip,don,t ask anyone to join you and if anyone wants to go with you make it clear that they may die, but you can also die crossing the road or driving your car.

FelixdeCat
NSW, 165 posts
12 Feb 2018 1:37PM
Thumbs Up


As a non-religious person, sailing is as close as I get to something spiritual. But nothing can substitute for experience.... and experience tells me that insurance helps (see article below).

While its nice to have the idea of "finding" ones-self in the desert, don't forget to enjoy what you're able to do today and live in the moment. I am still in the early stages of sailing myself and I believe that the safest and cheapest way to be a happy sailor is lowering ones expectations! hahahaha

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it" - George A. Moore

Saw this article today:

www.news.com.au/finance/business/travel/young-couple-new-to-sailing-lose-everything-after-boat-capsizes/news-story/b70e7b44610626a9f46164f9777fedc0

Berri2
NSW, 8 posts
12 Feb 2018 2:30PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
sailor92 said..
Hi everyone,

I'm new to sailing. I've been on sail boats before a few times, but always as a passenger only. Well I have decided that I want to cross the Pacific Ocean from Queensland Australia to California. It's pretty much a spiritual thing for me. Obviously, I am aware that there's a lot of stuff to know in order to survive this kind of journey. I want to know what is the steps I should take in order to build up my skills as a sailor so that I know just enough to survive if I were on my own on the trip. Which books do I need to read, in terms of equipment (boats, auto-pilot etc), sailing techniques and control, sailing routes, seasonal weather conditions, possible threats/dangers. EVERYTHING necessary, I want to learn, which books I need as well and what kinda experience I should gun for. I really don't know EXACTLY what im getting into so I want you all to give me realistic heads up.

I was thinking of first trying my hand at sailing at a local club, than maybe sailing coastally for a while, in order to get some sea miles. But also what kinda "specific" things would I need to learn, like sail routes across the Pacific, ideal stop-over locations... Thanks for the help everyone.


Wow, dreaming big! But not impossible ;) My husband and I are planning something similar, sailing up to Japan and then crossing over to Alaska or Hawaii (depending on weather forecasting). We've been working on this for the past couple of years, learning to sail, racing, reading books, watching vlogs (SV Delos, Sailing la Vagabonde, Sail to Fly), and sailing on our boat. SV Delos has a good section on books they recommend on their website as well, but there is heaps of stuff out there!

SandS
VIC, 5157 posts
12 Feb 2018 7:25PM
Thumbs Up

i know nothing , but still enjoy advising . so here goes ....

move to hobart , join a club and learn to sail around tassi and the southern ocean .

then buy a good wide ass yacht fix it up , strap yourself in point east and hang on !!! lookout for bergs !

sailor92
5 posts
12 Feb 2018 6:19PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Toph said..

sailor92 said..
Which books do I need to read, in terms of equipment (boats, auto-pilot etc), sailing techniques and control, sailing routes, seasonal weather conditions, possible threats/dangers.





Read Jimmy Cornells World Cruising Routes first. You will quickly realise you are going the wrong way. Outside of the Monsoon season the trade winds are East to West.........

Then read every other cruising guide you can get your hands on.

Everyone has already jumped on your back about this but nowhere did I see what time frame you want to do this in. To me it sounds like you are starting off on the right track and asking questions first, then off to the local club and gain some experience. Halfway from the Panama Canal to the Marquesas is a bloody long way to realise the cruising life is not for you. So I agree in getting some smaller passages in.

It is not rocket science. Don't let people have you believe that it is......


Honestly, I can't imagine getting sick of it in that way. Because it's something I actually want, to be alone at sea for atleast a month. Yeah i'll read that book and join a local club first.

sailor92
5 posts
12 Feb 2018 6:21PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Berri2 said..

sailor92 said..
Hi everyone,

I'm new to sailing. I've been on sail boats before a few times, but always as a passenger only. Well I have decided that I want to cross the Pacific Ocean from Queensland Australia to California. It's pretty much a spiritual thing for me. Obviously, I am aware that there's a lot of stuff to know in order to survive this kind of journey. I want to know what is the steps I should take in order to build up my skills as a sailor so that I know just enough to survive if I were on my own on the trip. Which books do I need to read, in terms of equipment (boats, auto-pilot etc), sailing techniques and control, sailing routes, seasonal weather conditions, possible threats/dangers. EVERYTHING necessary, I want to learn, which books I need as well and what kinda experience I should gun for. I really don't know EXACTLY what im getting into so I want you all to give me realistic heads up.

I was thinking of first trying my hand at sailing at a local club, than maybe sailing coastally for a while, in order to get some sea miles. But also what kinda "specific" things would I need to learn, like sail routes across the Pacific, ideal stop-over locations... Thanks for the help everyone.



Wow, dreaming big! But not impossible ;) My husband and I are planning something similar, sailing up to Japan and then crossing over to Alaska or Hawaii (depending on weather forecasting). We've been working on this for the past couple of years, learning to sail, racing, reading books, watching vlogs (SV Delos, Sailing la Vagabonde, Sail to Fly), and sailing on our boat. SV Delos has a good section on books they recommend on their website as well, but there is heaps of stuff out there!


Past years? WOW that's quiet long. Is it because you have other commitments as well. I would have thought that 6 months of dedicated preparation would have been enough, but then I don't have any other commitments, I'm only 25. I'll check out those vlogs. The japan route would be great. Let me know how it goes.

sailor92
5 posts
12 Feb 2018 6:27PM
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FelixdeCat said..

As a non-religious person, sailing is as close as I get to something spiritual. But nothing can substitute for experience.... and experience tells me that insurance helps (see article below).

While its nice to have the idea of "finding" ones-self in the desert, don't forget to enjoy what you're able to do today and live in the moment. I am still in the early stages of sailing myself and I believe that the safest and cheapest way to be a happy sailor is lowering ones expectations! hahahaha

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it" - George A. Moore

Saw this article today:

www.news.com.au/finance/business/travel/young-couple-new-to-sailing-lose-everything-after-boat-capsizes/news-story/b70e7b44610626a9f46164f9777fedc0


True, I think that is for life in general, expectation management. I honestly had NO idea exactly how hard it is, but I did want to scare myself a little on this, just within reason, and not go so ambitious that I end up dead at sea. But I do want to face the elements so to speak.At some point when Columbus crossed the Atlantic, it was a voyage for the history books, but now it's considered a relatively easy passage, that people complete SOLO regularly. That's an incredible difference if you think of it, in how mapping routes, technology and all that can change the difficulty. Actually my original plan was to learn sextant and celestial navigation and sail with JUST that. No back ups, nothing.

sailor92
5 posts
12 Feb 2018 6:29PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Toph said..

sailor92 said..
Which books do I need to read, in terms of equipment (boats, auto-pilot etc), sailing techniques and control, sailing routes, seasonal weather conditions, possible threats/dangers.





Read Jimmy Cornells World Cruising Routes first. You will quickly realise you are going the wrong way. Outside of the Monsoon season the trade winds are East to West.........

Then read every other cruising guide you can get your hands on.

Everyone has already jumped on your back about this but nowhere did I see what time frame you want to do this in. To me it sounds like you are starting off on the right track and asking questions first, then off to the local club and gain some experience. Halfway from the Panama Canal to the Marquesas is a bloody long way to realise the cruising life is not for you. So I agree in getting some smaller passages in.

It is not rocket science. Don't let people have you believe that it is......


Solid information. Thanks

Bananabender
QLD, 331 posts
12 Feb 2018 8:39PM
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sailor92


True, I think that is for life in general, expectation management. I honestly had NO idea exactly how hard it is, but I did want to scare myself a little on this, just within reason, and not go so ambitious that I end up dead at sea. But I do want to face the elements so to speak.At some point when Columbus crossed the Atlantic, it was a voyage for the history books, but now it's considered a relatively easy passage, that people complete SOLO regularly. That's an incredible difference if you think of it, in how mapping routes, technology and all that can change the difficulty. Actually my original plan was to learn sextant and celestial navigation and sail with JUST that. No back ups, nothing.




Mate ,keep the dream alive , be open to advice and willing to compromise on your ideals otherwise it will never happen and good luck .

fishmonkey
NSW, 306 posts
12 Feb 2018 9:41PM
Thumbs Up

it's not rocket science, but doing it solo without much sailing experience would be somewhat foolhardy. your comment above about 6 months preparation is highly unrealistic in my opinion.

also, ideally you would know your boat intimately, and know how to repair and maintain all its critical systems.

Chris 249
ACT, 1506 posts
12 Feb 2018 9:50PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
sailor92 said..

Berri2 said..


sailor92 said..
Hi everyone,

I'm new to sailing. I've been on sail boats before a few times, but always as a passenger only. Well I have decided that I want to cross the Pacific Ocean from Queensland Australia to California. It's pretty much a spiritual thing for me. Obviously, I am aware that there's a lot of stuff to know in order to survive this kind of journey. I want to know what is the steps I should take in order to build up my skills as a sailor so that I know just enough to survive if I were on my own on the trip. Which books do I need to read, in terms of equipment (boats, auto-pilot etc), sailing techniques and control, sailing routes, seasonal weather conditions, possible threats/dangers. EVERYTHING necessary, I want to learn, which books I need as well and what kinda experience I should gun for. I really don't know EXACTLY what im getting into so I want you all to give me realistic heads up.

I was thinking of first trying my hand at sailing at a local club, than maybe sailing coastally for a while, in order to get some sea miles. But also what kinda "specific" things would I need to learn, like sail routes across the Pacific, ideal stop-over locations... Thanks for the help everyone.




Wow, dreaming big! But not impossible ;) My husband and I are planning something similar, sailing up to Japan and then crossing over to Alaska or Hawaii (depending on weather forecasting). We've been working on this for the past couple of years, learning to sail, racing, reading books, watching vlogs (SV Delos, Sailing la Vagabonde, Sail to Fly), and sailing on our boat. SV Delos has a good section on books they recommend on their website as well, but there is heaps of stuff out there!



Past years? WOW that's quiet long. Is it because you have other commitments as well. I would have thought that 6 months of dedicated preparation would have been enough, but then I don't have any other commitments, I'm only 25. I'll check out those vlogs. The japan route would be great. Let me know how it goes.


Six months? I think most people take about two to three months to get through the basic flat-water introductory sailing course. That's about....hmmmm, one 20th of the knowledge you'll need at the very least.

Chris 249
ACT, 1506 posts
12 Feb 2018 9:51PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
sailor92 said..

FelixdeCat said..

As a non-religious person, sailing is as close as I get to something spiritual. But nothing can substitute for experience.... and experience tells me that insurance helps (see article below).

While its nice to have the idea of "finding" ones-self in the desert, don't forget to enjoy what you're able to do today and live in the moment. I am still in the early stages of sailing myself and I believe that the safest and cheapest way to be a happy sailor is lowering ones expectations! hahahaha

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it" - George A. Moore

Saw this article today:

www.news.com.au/finance/business/travel/young-couple-new-to-sailing-lose-everything-after-boat-capsizes/news-story/b70e7b44610626a9f46164f9777fedc0



True, I think that is for life in general, expectation management. I honestly had NO idea exactly how hard it is, but I did want to scare myself a little on this, just within reason, and not go so ambitious that I end up dead at sea. But I do want to face the elements so to speak.At some point when Columbus crossed the Atlantic, it was a voyage for the history books, but now it's considered a relatively easy passage, that people complete SOLO regularly. That's an incredible difference if you think of it, in how mapping routes, technology and all that can change the difficulty. Actually my original plan was to learn sextant and celestial navigation and sail with JUST that. No back ups, nothing.


Columbus was an extremely experienced sailor who crossed the Atlantic with an extremely experienced crew. It's very different.

sunycoastguy
QLD, 156 posts
12 Feb 2018 9:35PM
Thumbs Up

6 months is a bit short, i hope you mean full time learning and practising. Look up rya yacthing course they will get you ready for it, but gets a bit expensive all there courses,

gyccrewman
QLD, 77 posts
13 Feb 2018 7:13AM
Thumbs Up

I think you have to consider what is your budget, timeframe, desire to be the skipper.

A simpler option would be to gain some sound sailing skills. Log onto find a crew and find someone to crew with... you will still need to figure out if you consider the boat/ skipper sound enough to cross an ocean with.... a coastal trip or pacific island delivery would be a good start to see if you even want to cross an ocean.

If you want to do it yourself in your own boat........ you will need a large budget and probably a 5year target. You will be reliant on yourself when it goes wrong. A helicopter isnt going to drop out of the sky to rescue you when your 1000 mile off shore.

If this is your goal.....
Start crewing at the local club
Look at some RYA courses
Complete radio, first aid, sea saftey and diesel engine courses
Continue coastal deliveries
Complete some pacific island trips.

Once you decide you want to own a yacht. You have to find one, prepare it for your intended purpose and become confident in handling her.

Its not only knowledge and having a yacht, you need experience......
Its not impossible but it will take time.

Bristolfashion
VIC, 362 posts
13 Feb 2018 8:21AM
Thumbs Up

I often think about this in terms of all the individual roles on large boats. You'd need all these skills for a solo voyage.

Navigator
Radio operator
Helmsman
Sail trimmer
Engineer
Electrician
Emergency shipwright
Emergency sail repairer
Storesman
Weatherman
Paramedic
Cook

In addition you'd need enough knowledge to buy and fit out a suitable boat.

If you really want to acquire massive skills & experience fast, you could check out one of the zero to hero yacht courses. They run some really good courses like that in the UK which take you from nothing to Yacht Master offshore relatively quickly. There are probably similar things in Australia. Still, they're pricey and you'd still need to get further experience. They are often about 15 weeks and around $15, 000. You'd get all the info and be ready for a few years preparation and practice.

Cheers

Bristol

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1067 posts
13 Feb 2018 7:40AM
Thumbs Up

I spent last weekend helping out on a Yachtmaster exam for three souls.
It was fascinating watching the instructor sail off, and onto, a dock with no engine and no sails in a 10-15 knot breeze and an opposing 2 knot current.
Then to rub it in, he sailed upwind, turned back downwind, then turned back upwind and came back to the dock. Not a sail in sight and the engine off.
it was beautiful just to sit and watch a master of their trade at work.
Half an hour later, all three students were doing it too. Really cool.

samsturdy
NSW, 1208 posts
13 Feb 2018 9:56AM
Thumbs Up

Just a quick question from me gang. I think in the blog about Sailing North it was stated that sleeping was done in 15 minute
sessions and one blogger said how tired he became. Do you still have to do it that way if you are crossing the Pacific or on
any voyage where you are in a great expanse of sea ??.

jev7337
VIC, 415 posts
13 Feb 2018 10:31AM
Thumbs Up

There are a couple of route options that will take you from AUS to USA across the pacific. But no matter which route you'll take, it will be a long way. You'll probably have to avoid the trades as much as possible and catch the westerlies in the north or south to make some way. And you'll probably miss most of the great destination in the south pacific doing this.

Depending on what you want to get out of it and how much time you have it may be a more enjoyable experience overall to do the usual coconut milk run. But don't take my word for it, I haven't done either yet, others that did it may have a different view. I'm still planning my trip.

There are plenty of books available, Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes would be a good start. Read some blogs, there are yanks that do the pacific circle, take the trades across the Pacific and then the westerlies in the northern hemisphere back to the US.

As others said, get sailing experience, join the local club, do a couple of courses and if you get the chance try crewing on an off shore race. You'll then probably realise and get a feel for how much more experience you would want to undertake such an adventure.
Then get advice to buy and fit-out a suitable yacht.

...and a word of caution with your intention of navigating with a sextant. There are uncharted or poorly charted reefs in the pacific. A lot of the charts are based on surveys done in the 1800's. While navigating with a sextant may be interesting to kill some time, the GPS will be better at avoiding reefs i.e. staying accurately away from them to make up for any charting errors, and finding your destination.

tomooh
119 posts
13 Feb 2018 8:45AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
samsturdy said..
Just a quick question from me gang. I think in the blog about Sailing North it was stated that sleeping was done in 15 minute
sessions and one blogger said how tired he became. Do you still have to do it that way if you are crossing the Pacific or on
any voyage where you are in a great expanse of sea ??.


When solo I have got up every 20 minutes with an alarm, have a look around and then asleep for another 20. I have also crewed for a guy that on leaving Fiji for nz said ,he had done this trip 10 times and never seen another boat so was happy to sleep through the night,which we did. Last trip across the Tasman with 2 of us we kept watch's
except for a few hours with no wind when we decided to stop and both sleep. AIS is cheap now and a big help. Some will prefer to catch up on sleeping during daytime when they would expect to be more likely to be seen. The solo racers sleep at 20 to 30 knots as they sail around the world, you can't operate for long without a certain amount of sleep, probably at least 6 hours a day for most people, but that can be done in 20 or so lots of 20 minutes if you keep that routine.

samsturdy
NSW, 1208 posts
13 Feb 2018 3:29PM
Thumbs Up

Thanks tomooh. Yes, not enough sleep will play havoc with your senses. I certainly agree that AIS is a great help and
I reckon it's one of the best safety devices invented. My next door neighbour Bill has an elderly Cavalier with a strobe
light atop the mast. Is this sort of stuff obsolete now AIS is here or is there still a place for it ?.

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1067 posts
13 Feb 2018 2:48PM
Thumbs Up

Hi Sam,
Thats interesting, does he use the strobe when anchored or sailing? Is it white?
Personally, I don't like personal oddities like strobes, as if I saw it I'd automatically associate with a cardinal or similar navigation mark.
I set an loud annoying alarm on a 20min timer when I put my head down. The AIS is also set with a 5nm range to trigger the same audible alarm.
I seem to function ok in 20min catnaps. Wake up, check everything including getting your head outside, if all clear, re-enable alarm and go back to sleep.
If I don't set the alarm, I'll sleep right through, Im kinda tired for most of the time when solo. I have another backup alarm trigger on the PC just in case.

samsturdy
NSW, 1208 posts
13 Feb 2018 4:32PM
Thumbs Up

Hi Shags. Hard to describe the strobe. I suppose it is white and I do know that close to in the pitch black it's
very dramatic, it lights up everything around for a nano second, off for a nano second then repeats, it is very
intense and I would imagine it would attract those on watch in a large vessel. But it is old technology.

Meg12
5 posts
13 Feb 2018 2:36PM
Thumbs Up

Are you Len??

SandS
VIC, 5157 posts
13 Feb 2018 5:58PM
Thumbs Up

good question /\



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"New sailor, want to cross the Pacific, guide me." started by sailor92