L&VW, Thank you for the response. My pop's has a place in Waveland (not far from the final destination) I'm planning on spending the weekend there, and my girlfriend will meet me with the sunfish trailer so it would be a one way trip. I would try a different day if not making sufficient headway, but I would have to make the decision based on location, wind, nearest beach/marina.
Good road safety tip from L&VW, easy to forget something you can't always see, and it might make trouble if your gal pulls into a rest area, service station, restaurant parking lot, etc. Best gas up your vehicle prior to embarking upon your adventure, that at least will solve one potential problem. Another solution would be to use large truck stops for refueling, as they generally have more room, even on the fuel islands for cars, RVs, etc. If I were making such a voyage, I'd know the NOAA weather forecast (marine forecast in particular) and the tides before I ever left shore... even though you'll be sailing fairly close inshore with land in sight, the tides will affect ebb & flood as you cross the mouths of inlets, estuaries, rivers, etc., the broader the mouths the more likely it is that your craft will be set in some direction which doesn't match your intended course, aye? Just sayin', as it could come into play as a factor, especially toward the end of your voyage when you're running outta daylight and are somewhat tired, perhaps not thinking as clearly as usual, LOL.
A few more suggestions from an old school OTR truck driver: take a bugout bag & camp gear with you in the vehicle, you may never need it but it's better to have the gear in case you do need it. Warm dry clothing as well, you'll definitely want it after your voyage. Bring tools in the trunk of the vehicle for roadside emergencies or general adjustments to boat or vehicle... even a rudimentary tool set, anything is better than no tools at all.
Another option to consider when making such a voyage: combine the voyage with overnight camping at or near your destination, that way you can make the return drive the following morning when you're rested, as opposed to driving back at night when you & yer gal may both be tired. Campground reservations are easy enough to make nowadays... when I sailed the length of the Salton Sea, I camped both nights before and after the voyage, it broke up the long trip from Dago into three legs or segments, running out to the Salton, sailing the next day, and returning the third day at a leisurely (and safe) pace. With only 60 miles to run, one night of camping to break things up and get some rest would be beneficial, and boost safety as far as the return road trip goes. Yer gal could run ahead and set up camp if she's willing, or at least prep the campsite to make things easier for ya when ya land. Moi, I'd make it a night of glamping and romance with the girlfriend, with a nice restorative meal & alcoholic beverages by the campfire, LOL.
Here are a bunch of random ideas. As long as the boat and equipment is sound and you are on a broad reach most of the way, here is no reason why you could not make this trip. After all, a guy back in the '70 sailed a Sunfish from Miami, FL to Boston, MA and wrote a book about it, titled, I recall (?) This Book is Drunk.Read it if you have not already done so. In addition to foul weather gear, plenty of food and water, I would also have a good cell phone and a hand held VHF radio to hail commercial craft of your position and the Coast Guard if you needed big help. Alan Glos Cazenovia, NY
I'd watch the weather and always be flexible on your plan. Consider a handleld VHF with GPS to back up your cell phone (in a waterproof bag). Carry a flashlight and signal mirror. I would plan to be ashore before dark, wherever that happens to be
Plenty of places to pop ashore along that route. There is a group that does a Mississippi 110 raid in October and another that does the Florida 120 around the Pensacola area in May, when water and air temps are higher. Check facebook for their pages. Your route is extremely doable, you just want to be aware of the wind, tide and water temps.
I'd watch the weather and always be flexible on your plan. Consider a handleld VHF with GPS to back up your cell phone (in a waterproof bag). Carry a flashlight and signal mirror. I would plan to be ashore before dark, wherever that happens to be.Plenty of places to pop ashore along that route. There is a group that does a Mississippi 110 raid in October and another that does the Florida 120 around the Pensacola area in May, when water and air temps are higher. Check facebook for their pages. Your route is extremely doable, you just want to be aware of the wind, tide and water temps.
Over here in The Netherlands, we do 'crossings' like this every year. But 60 miles is a very, very long distance. I'm surprised that you're not mentioning back-up like a yacht that says with you along the coast. I'm not familiar with the local situation (Never been to AL and MS, but I've been to TX and FL) so I suppose that you want to sail this on one of the longer days of the year. Fatigue, heat, salt, possible problems with the gear. You need to consider that as well.
On another spot of this forum, I've read that the US Coastguard has a lot to say about vests and PFDs. I would be surprised to hear that they allow a trip like this without back-up and/or support.
The Coast Guard has the power to terminate a "manifestly unsafe voyage". In my four years service with them I never heard of this power being used. They do not require any kind of prior approval for private voyages. The proposed trip described would not even catch their attention.
I apologize for not logging on the last week or so I got rather busy! I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.
My plan as of now is to go this Friday 11/23/2018. I'll show up at cedar point, AL around 6:30 AM to launch and sail as far West as possible, my ultimate goal being to sail the entire Mississippi, Sound. This is very ambitious as the sound ends in Waveland, MS which is approximately 90 Miles. I know what your thinking.. wait a second... we said 58 miles is DOABLE... 90 miles is crazy. I would agree with this sentiment, but my goal is to push my self and the boundaries of what I can do so I have decided that I will aim high. This does not pose any more of a safety concerns because by the 50th mile I will be sailing parallel along a stretch of sandy beach that is easily accessible by road at all points. So when the sun starts to set I will simply head for shore and call my Family to meet me with the trailer. I have tried to do all of the suggestions that I have received, The only one that I have not been able to complete is the test sail to clock mileage. Unfortunately, the small job of changing the bearings. Races, and grease, to make sure the trailer doesn't give us any issues on this trip, turned into a complete strip/ repaint/ rebuild... y'all know how that goes. So I was unable to do the test sail, the wind was also very mild last weekend.
Everything considered, I feel very confident for the trip, everyone's suggestions and encouragement has been really helpful. Its an awesome thing to able to get input from such a diverse group of sailors with all kinds of experiences. Einstein said it best- "The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" I know this is true for me, and not just in sailing. Thank you all for sharing your experience & knowledge.
I wanted to get this out of the way, the rest of this obnoxiously long post will be details about the forecast/plan for those that are interested.
The forecast is looking good but the winds are slightly stronger than I would like (depending on the source) with gust from 20kts-25kts from the East transitioning to South East later in the day. This will put me on a run/ broad reach, the run portion is less than ideal for speed, but is favorable for fatigue. I am hoping that the higher wind speeds will help compensate for my less efficient point of sail. The weather forecast looks good but I may get a bit of rain late in the trip around 3pm-4pm. "Wave height" will be around 1ft and will be a following sea, I put wave height in quotes because this is typically just a chop not a defined wave. Lastly, Water Temperature will be around 68 degrees with air temps around 57-67 degrees. To compensate for temperature I will be wearing a 3/2 wet suit/booties and a insulated rain jacket.
Garmin GPS, VHF Radio, Iphone (Navionics), 11/2 days of Food/water, Flares, PLB, Lifejacket, Sail ties, Para cord, Flash Light, phone power source.
We have a good camera that we will film all of the B-roll and will show some planning. But the trip its self will be filmed on a go pro, Ill do the best I can here with out endangering myself or my equipment. If you have ever tried to film while sailing in high winds it can be a quite a burdensome task. I don't have a lot of video editing skills, but I am going to put something together and will probably get it out 2 weeks after trip. I will also come to the forum and let everyone know once the trip is complete, this will likely be Sat 11/24.
I sat down with my girlfriend and went over trailer safety as well as a few potential Meeting points if there is any kind of equipment failure or If wish not to proceed. I will be texting my coordinates every 30 minutes, and will follow up with a call every hour. She also has my "find my iPhone" info and can track my location each step of the way.
Okay, So if you have made it this far in this post you are just about as committed to this trip as I am. Thanks again for the support, I look forward to sharing the trip with everyone.
You can do this, bro... maybe not the entire distance at this time of year, but you can make a heller voyage and have a blast, just be prepared for adverse conditions, potential equipment failures, etc. Like Norcalsail, I'm interested to see & hear what happens on this voyage... keep marine safety your primary concern, and you'll be alright. Good luck to ya, and I say that as a hand who has done such voyages... not long-range in the traditional sense of ocean voyaging, but definitely long-range for small craft, AYE???
CHEERS, BRO!!! BE SAFE & MAKE US ALL PROUD, LOL...
You've got all day to glue an emergency signaling device to the back side of a 6-inch inspection port (see right side of photograph). Highly reflective, a CD can be used to attract attention. Its very little weight will give a lot of comfort in an emergency.
Although I don't understand how powerboaters can miss seeing a Sunfish sail, I've attached a "mini-CD" (2-inch diameter) to each of my boating hats to alert powerboat skippers to their apparent collision course: some I've got trained to regularly steer a wider course. Bright sun bouncing off that little CD always gets their attention!
On the flip side of that equation, you see a storm heading your way with lightning & all, get the heck out of its way... lightning is no joke at sea or on an exposed shore, I've seen bolts hitting the sand on North Beach in Coronado (while hauling @$$ and looking over my shoulder, LOL). Same way you don't wanna be exposed to lightning high on a crag when climbing, especially with all that metal hardware racked alongside... no future in that ridiculous scene, LOL. But I believe you're prepped & ready for this voyage, and again, I wish ya good luck. Don't sweat windy weather on a broad reach or run, it'll help send ya the distance, aye? It may get dicey at times, and try not to lose anything overboard when you're FLYIN', otherwise ya RIDE THE WIND, BRO!!! Free power, the best kind on the planet, WOOHOO!!!
P.S. Keep that daggerboard raised while you're FLYIN' off the wind, only lower it enough to maintain control... and no further. CHEERS!!!
Edit: Okay, I'm back to my cold beer & football, turkey dinner should be ready by halftime of this second game, LOL.
I just want to let y’all know that I made it safe and sound. I’m going to type up a full break down of the trip, all of the good, and the bad. I can tell you that Murphy’s law definitely came into play.
We have some family stuff to do today but as soon as I get back to my laptop, I’ll give Y’all all of the details. I’m hoping to have the full account posted by 8pm central time. In the mean time just to get a little anticipation going, here is a picture . Thanks again for the support!