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Going off the grid for a while - I'm Back!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by JRacer, Nov 14, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Randy Rohrbeck

    Randy Rohrbeck

    Joined Jun 4, 2004
    71 posts, 13 likes
    - -First 310
    US -
    Glad to see you were properly provisioned. It's always good to spend more on alcohol than food.

    Welcome back to winter.
     


  2. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Installment 2:

    Day 3, 11/20 - (10:30 – 29:30N;75:54W): Light wind most of the day, we have been using the motor more that we should. A few crew trail behind the boat to get an ocean bath in the light to nothing wind conditions. Transferred fuel from the on deck supply to the boats tank and compute GPH usage and remaining fuel range. Not good. Using too much fuel. We use the Sat Phone to phone the router to get more detail that we can from the text messages we get on the Garmin Inreach we have for messaging and tracking. Router suggests we consider diversion to Turks and Caicos to take on more fuel as he expects light to nothing wind for the next five days - would likely add 500 miles to the trip and put us sailing into the trades on the nose from there to BVI, not the best alternative. We sail in the conditions we have, put up the A-sail in the light wind and get a little more out of the boat. We are all racers so can drive the boat in the light stuff and concentrate for long periods to get the most out of the conditions. Dusk, a little more wind fills in. After dinner, a storm we had been watching in the distance all day caught up with us. Horizontal rain, 20 knot winds. Good for boat speed. Now making 10-11 knots consistently but bone soaking rain despite the fine foul weather gear we all had. Learned that the bimini and dodger were not as waterproof as expected and its pouring rain under/through them. For the overnight shifts, we turn on the Autohelm and the on deck crew (2) hide under the dodger periodically going to the helm station to manage the course and check the AIS for traffic as visibility is minimal due to the rain. First time that the crews on watch are counting the minutes until relieved. Sleep difficult due to the pitching and rolling and all sleep wherever possible instead of their assigned berths.


    Day 4, 11/21 – (09:30 – 28:40N;73:40W): Rain lets up and we can get out of the foulies and hang everything up to dry. Also take the opportunity to re-waterproof the bimini and dodger after they got dry – good planning to have that stuff aboard – made a huge difference the rest of the trip. Beam reaching in 15 knots – so much for the routers predictions of five days of no wind. Making good headway and estimate that we are about half way. Winds laid down. Solar and Wind generator have been doing well but the light winds and lack of direct sunshine have reduced their effectiveness so we motor some more but at a lower RPM to just charge batteries and conserve fuel. We get out the betting sheets to bet on what day/time we will spot land. All estimates come in within about a 16 hour range. Winner will be closest guess without going past and will drink free on the islands until such time as they depart. Another Fish On! Mahi for dinner again. Breeze improved and we sailed all night making 6-7 knots.


    Day 5, 11/22 – (13:45 – 27:25N;70:50W) Thanksgiving: We head more SSE from our previous ESE heading. North wind 12, hoping to sail all day without motoring until dark when forecast is for winds to lay down – wrong. Winds pick up to 20 from the NE and seas build. Seas get to 6-8 feet. Despite our best efforts, the boat lets us know what we have not stored and secured properly down below. The router tells us that the updated forecast is expecting this to last 24 hours. We double reef the main and roll the jib to about 80 percent. Later we roll in the jib some more and ultimately completely as the wind and seas continue to build through the night. We are mostly hand steering to minimize electrical drain from Autohelm. Too rough to cook the planned TG dinner so it’s Mahi steaks and mashed potatoes on top of one another in a bowl – too windy for plates. Night shift sets a new speed record at 13.2 knots. Sleep is difficult but not impossible.
     

    Attached Files:



  3. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,685 posts, 1,348 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    What did you find in Tortola? Road Town, West End, Nanny Cay, Beef Island? Did you have a chance to get over to North Sound on VG? Heard Jost got hammered. How are the Callwood clan doing over there. I may fly down just to spread a few dollars around and offer moral support. But ma will want a hot shower and a square meal.
     


  4. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Stay Tuned! You will have to wait for those installments, Gunni! ;-)
     


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  5. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,643 posts, 717 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    Nice trip! Looks like a good crew! Hard to imagine that you would be running low on fuel budget after just a few days and all those extra jugs! What is that about? Did weather change significantly after you crossed the GS? What was that like? How dramatic is the crossing?
     


  6. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Day 1 and 2 we were motor sailing a lot. Winds were better than forecast at the outset but tapered off. First 48 hours we covered about 330 nm but the motor was doing a lot of that work. We were fuel rich at that point and burning it like there was no limit. GS crossing was not dramatic other than the occasional squalls. Despite the north/northeast winds and the dire tales we had heard about not wanting to cross with ANY north wind component it was somewhat oversold as a bitch to cross with the north wind. But, keep in mind that the winds were relatively light while we were crossing so I'm sure the dire predictions probably come true with a higher north wind speed. We chose to not alter course to the south to compensate for the 3 knot northward current and just let it set us north. Thinking was that holding course and not trying to compensate for the offset would have us in the current the least amount of time.

    We had 63 gallons of fuel in the tank and 60 gallons on deck.
     


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  7. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,685 posts, 1,348 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Good decision to avoid the T&C, that place gives me the reef willies. Like many modern cruisers we only carry 40 gallons in the fuel tank, a trade off between big tanks full of fouled, unused fuel and motor range. But this boat likely has a 75 hp turbo diesel and will easily burn 2 gpm. Keep that in mind if you are looking at a re-power, your boat may have been designed for a fuel efficient motor sailing configuration, not a motorboat. Big benefits in staying small, and using those sails

    We take a bit of a different approach. No fuel on deck, 150gals of fresh water in the tanks, no deadlines for landfall, we get there when we get there. Cancel the board meeting, kiss your honey goodbye, Chill mon! I’m looking at a portable water maker that allows us to stay out until...whenever.
     


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  8. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    IIRC, 110 or 115 hp turbo diesel. Boats prop was repitched a few weeks before we left and we did not have good estimates on fuel consumption with the changed configuration of the prop until we were underway and topped off the tank from the deck supply. Ended up burning a gallon an hour at ~ 3K RPM. Yeah, we had a ton of water aboard.
     


    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  9. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    931 posts, 247 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Great write up, how many crew was required for this trip?
     


  10. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,643 posts, 717 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    I'm imagining that you go from winter gear on the west side of the stream to bare skin in the sun, mahi-mahi & swimming off the stern on the east side. Is it that way? It must be a nice transition when you cross!
     


  11. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    There were 6 of us. Two brothers that were owners, one of the brothers two sons (27 + 30), me and another friend of one of the owners. All experienced sailors.
     


  12. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Exactly, it was. We were all dressed for the cold on the west side of the stream and started to shed layers after we crossed.
     


  13. kappykaplan

    kappykaplan

    Joined May 1, 2011
    898 posts, 159 likes
    Pearson 37
    US Lusby MD
    Great write up! Has me yearning for my time in Annapolis when we took the Midshipmen to Bermuda and Halifax on the Navy 44s!
     


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  14. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,147 posts, 963 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    I still think you should submit your trip experience for a feature in the Mainsheet Schoen! The club needs something exciting to read about.
     


  15. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    3,901 posts, 1,912 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Fantastic. The color of that water gets me every time. You had enough fuel to make it so it was perfect.
    Waiting for the next installment. Thanks for publishing.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  16. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Installment # 3:

    Day 6, 11/23 – (09:45 – 25:37N;60:02W): Wind and waves continue to build and we see 36+ knot true winds and 15 foot seas under a double reefed main. Bimini zippers begin to fail and we have to stow the bimini in the heavy breeze. It takes all hands to fold back the bimini frame and lash/bungee the cloth. Boat speed is down due to the heavy seas but we are still moving in the right direction under reefed mainsail alone. Steady squalls and again all are soaked to the bone. Hand steering through the waves and spray was a challenge. Doing anything, including things as simple as getting dressed, was a challenge and required one to brace themselves for any task to avoid being tossed about and potentially injured. Showering in the below deck shower was like wrestling a bear in a phone booth even in the lighter conditions.


    Day 7, 11/24 – (09:30 – 24:10N;67:48W): Wind shifted to the SW so, again, we tacked to maintain our course to the islands. Discover high winds had separated the main from two of the cars adjacent to one another. Lost a pin out of one. We endure. High winds subside but leftover seas are big and confused. With a break in the winds, we sent two crew to the mast to effect repairs and were able to reattach one of the two batten cars. We are hopeful that the extra load on the unattached part of the main (between battens) does not cause the rest of the cars to come loose as it did before. Despite the conditions, we have made good progress and have not had to motor. Boat is a mess and everything is wet. Rain quits and we see the sun, time to dry out. Fish On, more Mahi for dinner. Overnight sail was terrific, 15 knot wind from the SW, boat going very well.

    The Dot in the center of the "Windy Weather" pic is us. One of the wives pulled this up while we were out there and saved it. Fortunately, she was not able to email it to us! ;-)
     

    Attached Files:



    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  17. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Limited to 10 pics per post apparently.
     

    Attached Files:



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  18. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,685 posts, 1,348 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Was that main sail OEM? What 7 years old? Did it make it to port?
     


  19. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    844 posts, 291 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Yes, it was OEM. But they had a sailmaker go through the sails and attend to any issues prior to the trip. Issue was the attachment to the cars on the sail track. One came untied and the other dropped a pin out of it. We were able to use the pin from the one that still had a pin on it to reattach tha to the batten but with no pin for the other one we could not retie the sail to the second car. Amazingly, we found the missing pin on the deck when we got into port. Don't know how it managed to stay on the boat. Yes, the sail(s) held up for the duration of the trip. Keep in mind that the boat was very lightly used by the PO. Had only something like 300 hours on the engine so I believe the sails, while one dog year old, were not well worn.
     


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  20. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    3,901 posts, 1,912 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    :thumbup:
    Your trip and pictures being back memories. That's what I think of as sailing.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     



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