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    Planning a long hop


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    In less than 90 days I will leave my home port in Seward Alaska.

    The first leg of this journey is the longest one, crossing the gulf of Alaska.

    This is a solo trip I am making.

    The total distance is 330NM that I need to travel from my home port in Seward Alaska to the community of Yakutat where I can take on fuel.

    The first leg will be around 110NM from seward to In between the two islands in the photo. This is either one long day or two easy days. No problem there.

    The second leg is 220NM across the gulf.

    The challenge is how to accomplish that safely with just me on board.

    Here are the particulars of my boat....

    440 gallons of fuel

    I can travel at 8 knots and get around 1.75NMPG I like to do my planning at 1.5NMPG though just to be on the safe side.

    So... on the first leg I will burn around 75 gallons of fuel

    The 2nd leg of 220NM is the challenge.

    If I attempt that leg at 8 knots then I will be 27 hours awake. That is dangerous.
    I might, and the big word hereis might be able to anchor behind the little island you see with a circle in the photo. The word might is because this is a very tricky spot, with poor chart reliability, and needing local knowledge. I am a bit aprehensive.

    I could travel at my thoeretical hull speed of 9 knots and get around 1.3 nmpg and the trip would take 24 hours

    Another option would be to go 10 knots for that leg With my Water line length of 44' that speed is pushing a big bow wave but the boat is not starting to noticiable lift in the bow. My fuel economy at that speed drops to about 1.0 nmpg That would shorten the trip to 22 hours

    The other option would be to hit the throttles and go. Up on plane, 15 knots. Then the trip would be around 15 hours. but my economy goes to about .75NMPG If I choose this I will bring some fuel drums and top off the tanks before this leg just to be sure. The risk of this is hitting a log and stress. Up on plane is stressful. Things happen fast, and there are logs to avoid. Up on plane also means that I if I hit a log it will pull under the boat as opposed to flat and level.

    Now a bit about me and my body.

    Currently as part of my job I am required to change shifts frequently with little notice. That means that I often have to stay up 24 hours and be fully functional in life and death safety situations. This is something I am accustomed to and have trained my body to do. That career ends just a couple days before this departure.

    So now the big question, what would you do?

    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 DOS PECES - SEWARD ALASKA


    Whats the weather like on the boat
    https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


    Where am I right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/2R02

    #2
    Hi Kevin,

    Sent you a PM.
    Ron & Kellie
    Just Us 2 - 2001 4788
    New to us September 2020
    Moored in Coal Harbour

    Comment


      #3
      I think I would bring a buddy and fly them back home after the second leg. Then you could travel at the best speed for conditions and trade off at the helm.
      What a great adventure!
      2000 2859
      7.4 Liter MPI Bravo 2
      Time Out
      2006 3500 Duramax Silverado
      Triple Axel Trailer
      Newport, WA

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by 2859er View Post
        I think I would bring a buddy and fly them back home after the second leg. Then you could travel at the best speed for conditions and trade off at the helm.
        What a great adventure!
        Yes - this.
        Northport NY

        Comment


          #5
          I agree you need to take someone with you for the “what if” something happens… Makes it a lot simpler to trouble shoot if one person is at the helm and the other in the engine compartment, if necessary.

          Good Luck
          Ron
          1989 3218, twin 350 gas motors
          1988 Boston Whaler 13 Super Sport Limited
          2007 Yamaha VX Cruiser
          2012 Yamaha FX Cruiser

          Comment


            #6
            The main reason I retired was to eliminate stress. Life now is about the journey, not the destination. Take a friend. I'd want every possible advantage for a trip like that.
            Jeff & Tara (And Hobie too)
            Lake Havasu City, AZ
            |
            Current: 2022 Sun Tracker Sport Fish 22 XP3 w/ Mercury 200
            2000 Bayliner 3388 Cummins 4bta 250s (SOLD 2020)
            2000 Bayliner 2858 MCM 7.4 MPI B3 (SOLD 2018)
            2007 Bayliner 305 MCM twin 350 Mag B3s (SOLD 2012)
            2008 Bayliner 289 MCM 350 Mag Sea Core B3 (SOLD 2009)
            And 13 others...
            In memory of Shadow (7-2-10,) and Ginger (5-11-21.)
            Best boat dogs ever! Rest in peace girls...

            Comment


              #7
              Guys, i really appreciate the comments!

              I'm going to make this journey alone.

              And i'm going to travel another 4,000 miles alone

              This leg is not unlike the one after it, and the one after that except that it is a few hours longer.

              This is my life guys. I live alone on my 4788 and I am traveling for my retirement.

              KEVIN SANDERS
              4788 DOS PECES - SEWARD ALASKA


              Whats the weather like on the boat
              https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


              Where am I right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/2R02

              Comment


              • Mortenti
                Mortenti commented
                Editing a comment
                Pretty much answers my question of “Of the whole earth to choose where to live, who in the hell would voluntarily choose to live way up north in Alaska?” Suicidal masochists who like wearing lots of clothes I reckon. God help you if you get struck by vertigo out there totally alone. It totally comes ‘out of the blue’ for the first time-due to age.-signed naked suicidal hedonist from Minas Gerais.

              • Jeffw
                Jeffw commented
                Editing a comment
                You did ask, "what would you do?"

              • ksanders
                ksanders commented
                Editing a comment
                Morteni You got a good chuckle out of me, Thanks!!!

                Jeff, Thanks for your input and advice :-)

              #8
              I get the personal challenge aspect of this.

              I would make the hop to Port Etches (I think that is your first circle).

              I would size things up at Kayak / Wingham Island closely. It looks like there should be some protection from weather in most any direction. It may not be a peaceful cove but it would be a chance to catch a bit of a break. You are well equipped with charts (even if not great) GPS, depth sounder so a bit of slow poking around for a place to drop the hook might not be bad investment of time v. safety.

              Icy bay looks like it might be an option to stop short of Yakutat and catch some rest if you are dragging. Better to stop there and freshen yourself that be punchy 3-4hrs later as you are trying to come in to get fuel.

              If you are planning this all at displacement type speeds - I would probably just throw on a drum/bladder of fuel to be safe. The extra weight isn't really a penalty at those speeds and if you start seeing weather/conditions you want to outrun you have that option. Slower going early conserving fuel is key to being able to shorten things up when the DTG numbers are getting smaller and you are ready to have a break. Every hour you run at 15kn is almost an hour shaved off the total time. Tail end of this and burning off a bunch of fuel just helps you pick up speed as you get itchy for the dock.

              Yakutat to Elfin Cove is another haul in itself and just looking at the satellite images has probably fewer options on where to hide if things get interesting.

              Looking forward to living vicariously through you on the trip.
              1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
              1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
              Nobody gets out alive.

              Comment


                #9
                Originally posted by kwb View Post
                I get the personal challenge aspect of this.

                I would make the hop to Port Etches (I think that is your first circle).

                I would size things up at Kayak / Wingham Island closely. It looks like there should be some protection from weather in most any direction. It may not be a peaceful cove but it would be a chance to catch a bit of a break. You are well equipped with charts (even if not great) GPS, depth sounder so a bit of slow poking around for a place to drop the hook might not be bad investment of time v. safety.

                Icy bay looks like it might be an option to stop short of Yakutat and catch some rest if you are dragging. Better to stop there and freshen yourself that be punchy 3-4hrs later as you are trying to come in to get fuel.

                If you are planning this all at displacement type speeds - I would probably just throw on a drum/bladder of fuel to be safe. The extra weight isn't really a penalty at those speeds and if you start seeing weather/conditions you want to outrun you have that option. Slower going early conserving fuel is key to being able to shorten things up when the DTG numbers are getting smaller and you are ready to have a break. Every hour you run at 15kn is almost an hour shaved off the total time. Tail end of this and burning off a bunch of fuel just helps you pick up speed as you get itchy for the dock.

                Yakutat to Elfin Cove is another haul in itself and just looking at the satellite images has probably fewer options on where to hide if things get interesting.

                Looking forward to living vicariously through you on the trip.
                Thanks, excellent analysis!

                That is the direction I am leaning.

                If I can stop for 6 hours even if it's a bit bumpy I can close my eyes and be good to go for the rest of the hop.

                KEVIN SANDERS
                4788 DOS PECES - SEWARD ALASKA


                Whats the weather like on the boat
                https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


                Where am I right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/2R02

                Comment


                  #10
                  My take is this: You are going to have plenty of daylight to make the trip that time of year. You're going to be excited about your journey. Both make staying awake much easier. I work 12 hour night shifts and often stay up far longer than 24 hours to "flip" Sometimes we just have to do what we have to do. That's what it takes to get the job done. Regardless, take some extra fuel capacity.
                  "REEL WILD"
                  2001 2859 FNM 300 Diesel-Bravo 2
                  Anchorage, Alaska
                  If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes.......

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Kevin, This may be a fun but also a bit risky crossing. If you are determined not to have a companion then I would definitely spend a night at Kayak/Wingham area, spending as much time as it takes to scout the area to find a good and safe anchoring spot. I am also a bit concerned about fuel. On paper you seem to have adequate fuel supply. However, bad weather or an issue may change that situation. Taking with you some spare fuel should be an acceptable remedy.

                    Good luck!
                    Retired, computer expert / executive
                    Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
                    Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
                    D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
                    [email protected]
                    [email protected]

                    Comment


                      #12
                      For Kevin doing this solo is the challenge - keep in mind he ran the boat up from WA when he bought it. I think he has done this trip a few times actually if I remember my BOC history.

                      I normally am not a fan of interfaced autopilot but in this case I think it actually may be an enhancement to safety. That and a timer/alarm. Worst case on autopilot is that he falls asleep and runs aground close to final destination (where there are people). I say that because the odds of being on exactly same course of another boat where skipper is off watch are pretty slim in that part of the world.
                      1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
                      1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
                      Nobody gets out alive.

                      Comment


                        #13
                        You can always try what offshore solo sailors do….set an alarm and doze for short periods when you are in the middle of no where. Have some buddies that go days at a time snatching 15 min naps….others who go down for 4 hrs at a time. Requires an autopilot, transmitting AIS(IMO) and a loud reliable alarm.
                        1985 Bayliner 3270
                        110 Hino/Hurth 360A
                        previous = built own Roberts V495, circumnavigated
                        previous = Apollo 27
                        previous = Folkes 39, sailed to Hawaii
                        + few more before that..

                        Comment


                          #14
                          Kevin, do you have an AIS and what is the name of your boat? If you post this info people can track you on smartphone apps such as shipfinder. Indeed, if you post the info and turn on the AIS we can see if you are "visible" even while you are docked at home.

                          Good luck
                          Retired, computer expert / executive
                          Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
                          Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
                          D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
                          [email protected]
                          [email protected]

                          Comment


                            #15
                            First thought …TAKE ADDITIONAL FUEL! Water conditions may necessitate running at higher speeds to keep the wallowing down. You may not be able to take the most direct route thereby increasing distance, unfavorable current/winds/seas, etc. all increase fuel usage. More fuel equals more options, including speed increase to shorten the leg time. The last thing you need on a long, solo journey is the stress of possible fuel shortage. You can fix a lot of mechanical problems but you can’t make more diesel! Running out of fuel equals rocks, end of trip, possible death. I suppose I’m a fuel freak so don’t mean to over emphasize the obvious.

                            Naps equals increased risk of hitting an object. That said, in the real world of a 24 hr trip you aren’t staring straight ahead looking FOD at all times. Therefore naps are risk/benefit assessment. If the conditions permitted, I’d set an alarm and take short naps. Heck, you’ll probably fall asleep anyway out of boredom just rocking in your helm chair! Set an alarm!

                            If you simply must remain awake you might have plenty of coffee or Red Bull aboard and available if required. Eating sunflower seeds and sucking on ice helps too.

                            How much and what portion of this leg will be at night?

                            If you do carry addition fuel what’s your plan for refueling? This can be a critical phase as obviously you don’t want any water to enter the fill ports during the process and You sure don’t want to be running around on the deck while underway. Quick story….while running a 65’ Hatteras sportfisher to PUerto Vallarta, my watch was 0000-0400. Very dark night, no moon. About 0200 I climbed down from the FB to use the head. While standing in the cockpit, a mere 3 ft away from the ocean rushing past, I realized how thin the line sometimes is between life and death. With the rest of the crew sleeping no one would have known where/when I went over. That would have been it for me and you have no crew to help you either!
                            Jim Gandee
                            1989 3888
                            Hino 175's
                            Fire Escape
                            [email protected]
                            Alamitos Bay, SoCal

                            Comment

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