Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

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Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby carl10579 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:57 am

I have an idea for some real fun for next year. It might be nuts so I would like some opinions. I want to go whale watching out of Provincetown or Plymouth. I figure an early start and a 20 mile hike north out of Provincetown which includes rounding the point. Dropping anchor and spending the night on-board then sailing back again the next day.

Of course there are things to bring and a boat to modify but once its together does the trip seem risky? I've done longer distances on lakes and the Hudson with some stiff breezes and some pretty large wakes from semi-planed super cruisers. But the ocean, out of sight of land with giant whales around could be dangerous - or - really cool.

I've been sailing the DS-II but also have a DS-I that I would rather use for the venture. It's a lot easier to customize. I want to make the cockpit area somewhat liveable. I have a plan in my head to remove the mast step from the keel and instead fix it to an aluminum beam that runs side to side and is up against the cabin roof and supporting it to the keel with a fiberglass rib. Then I will scribe a pressure treated plywood floor around the centerboard box ending at the forward face of the seats. The wood railing is missing which is okay. I would rather the top be flat for seating (the DS-II hurts to sit there) so it would need some re-enforcing. Then I'm thinking a porta-potty in the stern under the rudder. And a boom tent, lights, and all the usual camping gear.

Do you guys think we would be able to get close to the whales? Could we hear them singing all night? Would they laugh at the little boat and want to make sport of it?

It would / will be a week off. For me starting with a long days drive to a camping spot. A day to get ready. 2 days in the boat. A day or two to relax at the beach and another long days drive home.

Or should we just pay the $45 per person and go out on a 60 footer for a couple of hours?
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby Shagbark » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:04 pm

I've done the $45 on the 60 footer. Your idea sounds much better. If it is a crazy idea or not depends not just on the outfitting of the boat, but the seamanship of the captain and crew as well. A night at sea is a different animal than a night on the lake. Just for starters, take the swells and the stress they put on the rode. Will you have a section of chain? I don't know the depth you're talking about but I suspect the usual 7:1 ratio will not be sufficient. And without a ballasted keel, the motion is not going to be easy. Can the boat be readied for it, certainly. Question will be if the captain is up to it. I'm certain others will provide their two cents on other issues as well. Talbot has quite a bit of experience at spending nights aboard, hopefully he'll chime in. As well as those who have experienced the TX 200.
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby Shagbark » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:07 pm

If you do decide to do it, make sure you follow back to the site to report how it went. I'm interested in doing a Lake Michigan crossing and your experience may be very helpful.
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby TIM WEBB » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:01 am

Go for it! The DS makes for an excellent camp/cruiser, when properly setup. Mind your tides/current/wx, and have plans B-Z firmly in place ...
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby jeadstx » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:18 am

Both the DS I and DS II can be set up for camp cruising. There is an article on the internet somewhere (I may have downloaded it, I'll look) about a DS I cruising the northeast coast for a week about 10-15 years ago. The article includes some of the modifications for camp cruising. I know there is also an article (might be on the DS website) about 4 guys that circumnavigated the Baja Peninsula in the 1960's. I have sailed the Texas 200 in my DS II in 2010,2011,2012,and 2013. My articles including modifications for sleeping in the cockpit can be found in the Archive sections under those years on the Texas 200 website http://www.texas200.com/ . The Texas 200 is a 200 mile sail up the Texas coast. Tim Webb has done the Florida 120 several times on his (former) DS II.

Some things to think about. Have knowledge of tides, winds, and anchorages in the area. Have charts, GPS, compass, etc. If you plan to go that far off shore carry an EPIRB on board. Probably be good to have radar reflector as well on the mast head, whales may not run you over, but there are large vessels that might not see a small boat. Don't over pack the boat, Many first time camp cruisers over pack. Before going it would be wise to do a "test" capsize on your boat in a controlled situation, to know what to do in a worst case scenario of a capsize. Have a VHF radio (or two) to attach to each crew members PFD in case someone gets separated from the boat. Have a good way to re-board the boat. Have at least two sets of reef points in the mainsail and know how to reef. I'm sure there are more.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby carl10579 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:37 am

Oh no --- I just came home with an O'day 22 with a shoal keel. Needs some TLC but it looks like we'll be taking this out to Stellwagen Bank. (Bunks, head, lights, self righting, trailer-able). Keeping the DSII though. Was looking at a McGregger 22 but compared to the O'day it's a POS. So we'll see. Should be dropping it in the water in April (Stellwagen in July).
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby talbot » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:02 pm

Congratulations! Did you get the version 1 (kind of bulbous forward part of the cabin built from1972-83) or version 2 (sleeker slanting coach roof. built starting 1984)? We considered both as a cruising alternative to the DS. Hard to find for us locally. There's no forum for the larger O'Day's that is as focused as the one for the DS, but oday.sailboatowners.com has some useful sections. Tip: Look for the 22 under their "daysailers" heading rather than in their "bigger boats" area.
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby carl10579 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:01 am

Getting ready for Stellwagen Bank. I'm putting my O'day 22 up for sale. It's the older model. It can be used as a daysailer right now but needs too much for an overnight ocean trip. (On a trailer, extra sails, tow it anywhere, $600 in NY) Sooooo --- I bought an Aquarius 23 trailer sailor. I haven't touched it yet but the photos and equipment list are very impressive. In fact it is ready to go and live aboard. The paint is gorgeous! But I'm also keeping the DS II. The DS II is such a blast to sail. I've had that planed off in a stiff breeze a couple of times. The only thing passing me then was a Hobie Cat. (Once a guy on a jet ski was following me across the lake and he was planed off too.) Would like to take the DS II along as a second boat. Going there with 3 to 6 people on the water, a few more staying in the campsite. Departing from P-Town or somewhere south of Boston. About 20 miles to the bank either way. Wanna go?

Listen, you guys and gals. Summer will be here before you know it. Order those parts and grease those bearings and drop a few pounds so you fit in your suit. Start now!

:mrgreen: Carl :mrgreen:
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby talbot » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:46 pm

Sounds like a blast. There's an Aquarius 23 that moors down the dock from my boat, but I've never been below decks. Just now I Googled some images. Looks like a pretty plush interior. Is that an enclosed head forward of the galley? When you say you would like to take your second boat along -- would you have a second crew sail the DS out to the bank and then raft up? Or would it stay on the beach at the campsite?
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby carl10579 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:32 am

Yes it is an enclosed head, open to the V berths, I think. It is a later model with a solid transom and an external rudder. The mast is beefed with an aft stay and spreaders. I'm psyched. From the pictures the boat is freshly painted top side with Interlux and anti skid. The interior has been redone too and freshly painted. Even the trailer was painted to match and has hydraulic brakes with a master cylinder at the hitch and spare tires.

I've often read stories in aircraft and pilot magazines where a guy retires and sets out to do what he loves. In these instances it's resorting an old aircraft like a Cessna 195 or a Waco. The guy works on it for years and the plane is absolutely perfect in every detail and is at the 95% done stage needing only very minor stuff. Maybe it needs a prop or instruments, a radio, stuff like that to finish. And then the guy or his wife gets sick, cancer maybe and some other guy comes along and buys it cheep. In one case, the Cessna 195, the owner had cancer and a doctor bought his plane, finished it and had it on the cover of a magazine. In the article he bragged how he talked the down in price to get the deal of a lifetime. His consultation was that he gave the old guy who had spent years restoring the plane one ride in it.

My point is, I hope this isn't the case with this Aquarius 23.

Oh, I would like to have a second crew take the DS II out and raft up for the night. I would be our dingy.
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby talbot » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:46 pm

Sad stories of beautiful craft orphaned by fate are as common in boating as in aviation. I try to not spend more time on "improvements" than I do on sailing, so if illness or bankruptcy strikes, at least my enjoyment balance will be paid up.

Fortunately, you have a little more slack with boat maintenance than you have with aircraft. Blown-out sails will still get you around. It's a different level of dysfunction than needing a new prop.
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby Zinger88 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:29 pm

I saw this article and thought it might be of interest. Might be the same one John was referencing....

https://sites.google.com/site/dinghycruising/
Jim H
'76 Daysailer II, Sail #7920, Windsong
Burton, TX
~~ _/) ~
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby carl10579 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:38 pm

Getting closer. The Aquarius sails very nicely. We have a mooring reserved in Edgartown Harbor for 3 nights. Leaving out of Massachusetts, across Buzzards Bay and through Woods Hole and on to the Vineyard. Have an 8 HP Sailmaster for a kicker and a rubber dingy with a 2.5 for a shuttle. Going mid July. Whale watching in August? Maybe.

Still love my Daysailer.

Carl
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby talbot » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:43 pm

Exciting! Sounds like a great trip!
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Re: Whale Watching? Ocean Camping?

Postby carl10579 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:50 pm

Well we made it to Edgartown and back. We left from Hoppy's Landing, traveled through the straight at Woods Hole and on to Martha's Vineyard. Each way was about 35 miles and we spend about 10 hours on the water each way. We could have made the trip in the Daysailer but the Aquarius is so much more comfortable for a trip like that. Coming back through the "hole" the current was with us but the wind against us. Right after we saw a big 35 footer go up on the rocks the current caught the rudder and spun us in a 360 after which we had to start the kicker and get us out of there. Later in the bay the swells rose to 3' with over-running white caps. It was a blast. I made a video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuWzC6vXejw

Will be out on the lake with the DS on Sunday. Why can't summer last?
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