Long rides alone- Edgartown MVY to Norwalk CT in one day

Toolate

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I made this trip alone on Saturday leaving MVY at 9:30 am and running in fog anywhere from 100yd to 1/4 mi viz until I was past Fishers Island. It sucked! Radar on 1 mi, running lights, mast top spot on, standing at the wheel (not comfortable with AP running in fog) for about 5 hours… Then smooth sailing for the sound until it rained on me off Westport, CT. What a day I had. Got to Norwalk around 6 after stopping in Old Saybrook for fuel. Wife made me 3 sandwiches and had a bag of apples and some chips to eat plus a few hard candies. 8 1/2 hours of running at around 19.5 kts to cover about 150 nautical miles. Longest trip I have made in a day! 23 year old boat and engines ran flawlessly thankfully.

Anyone else make a long trip like this alone or without anyone to give you a break at the wheel?

Couple less than great pics I took on the way. Fog, Norwalk light house, Faulkner’s Island.

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OLD BAY

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sailor of fortune

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Lol, if your looking for sympathy for being at a helm all day.... I don't think your going to get it here.... Lots of working waterman that just see that as a normal working day....except the 0930 start and wife feeding you sammis... Great boat and trip though. No disrespect meant
 

Old Mud

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Toolate

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that first pic looks like the 100 yard fog. What speed when that thick?
16-18 kts. Nice slow plane. I stand at the helm though no auto pilot and have what I think is a pretty good setup for radar/AIS. New Simrad radar is amazing- literally shows seagulls or lobster pots at a few hundred yards. Still head on a swivel. No fun.
 

Toolate

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I’ll be doing solo from Annapolis to Martha’s Vineyard this week. First day & leg is 215nm (Annapolis to Sandy Hook). I’m hoping seas are calm enough to average 25 knots (can cruise at 35 if calm). I’ve done 150nm alone in 1 day previously, but this will be my longest. I downloaded audiobooks and listened with my headphones… had a blast!
Your boat is fast! You should start a thread to track it- would be fun. Best of luck to you!
 

Toolate

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Lol, if your looking for sympathy for being at a helm all day.... I don't think your going to get it here.... Lots of working waterman that just see that as a normal working day....except the 0930 start and wife feeding you sammis... Great boat and trip though. No disrespect meant
Haha wasnt looking for sympathy but that is a long GD day! The standing at the helm part is what kicked my ass.
 

Toolate

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As long as your trip was uneventful it was a success. Yes another pair of eyes always helps but not necessary to get your job done. Trust your radar and your ears. I never minded running in fog in the daytime but dislike it running at night.
Agreed and I run my radar on sunny days so I was very comfortable with it in the fog but theres no relaxing when you cant see. Sucks
 

JimRP31

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Last summer, I had a long foggy ride from Nantucket to Vineyard Haven. Left Nantucket in overcast skys but when we turned into the main channel the we had 50-100 yard visibility and 4-6 waves. No Fun. Our autopilot failed on the way to Nantucket so hand steering was the only option. Holding a course with hand steering in the fog was almost impossible. We ran the radar and switched back and forth from 1 Mile to 3 Miles. We could see a fishing boat approaching on radar. We tried to keep a safe distance but with the fog,waves and hand steering it was almost impossible to hold a steady course. In the end the fishing boat popped out of the fog 100 yard in front and we had to do a Crazy Ivan to avoid them. I doubt anyone on the fishing boat saw us at all. No horn or course change. We use the radar in all conditions to make sure we are used to it. Which turned out to be a blessing since we knew exactly how to utilize the radar and keep a look out for other vessels.
After that trip we added a big radar reflector and AIS. And had a pro fix the auto pilot. I do have the benefit of being able to share the helm with my wife, so fatigue does not become an issue we swap as needed.

On a side note. I bet in the future if anyone needs to do a long trip and needs a hand. Multiple members on this forum would volunteer.
 
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Genius

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Last summer, I had a long foggy ride from Nantucket to Vineyard Haven. Left Nantucket in overcast skys but when we turned into the main channel the we had 50-100 yard visibility and 4-6 waves. No Fun. Our autopilot failed on the way to Nantucket so hand steering was the only option. Holding a course with hand steering in the fog was almost impossible. We ran the radar and switched back and forth from 1 Mile to 3 Miles. We could see a fishing boat approaching on radar. We tried to keep a safe distance but with the fog,waves and hand steering it was almost impossible to hold a steady course. In the end the fishing boat popped out of the fog 100 yard in front and we had to do a Crazy Ivan to avoid them. I doubt anyone on the fishing boat saw us at all. No horn or course change. We use the radar in all conditions to make sure we are used to it. Which turned out to be a blessing since we knew exactly how to utilize the radar and keep a look out for other vessels.
After that trip we added a big radar reflector and AIS. And had a pro fix the auto pilot. I do have the benefit of being able to share the helm with my wife, so fatigue does not become an issue we swap as needed.

On a side note. I bet in the future if anyone needs to do a long trip and needs a hand. Multiple members on this forum would volunteer.
steering by a compass is a lost art. Hard to do without practice. Also, drift is something I always battle with. An airplane/chopper pilot I work with on workboats brought this to my attention as it is something they deal with in their industry as well. I'm talking about operator induced drift, not current. Long and short range scanning as you mentioned is critical. Nice when you have two radar units. Sometimes I will add chart overlay and AIS overlays to add to my information being presented.

Some advice from Sonny Bono; "Don't look at the tree". Our human nature will drive us to the point we are fixated upon.
 

Toolate

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steering by a compass is a lost art. Hard to do without practice. Also, drift is something I always battle with. An airplane/chopper pilot I work with on workboats brought this to my attention as it is something they deal with in their industry as well. I'm talking about operator induced drift, not current. Long and short range scanning as you mentioned is critical. Nice when you have two radar units. Sometimes I will add chart overlay and AIS overlays to add to my information being presented.

Some advice from Sonny Bono; "Don't look at the tree". Our human nature will drive us to the point we are fixated upon.
My AIS radar and charts are always on one screen and I would prefer a 2nd display for redundancy, I think I would set it up the same. Its wonderful to have the radar confirm AIS positions real time.

I agree the fog at least doubles the fatigue.
 
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