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A thought experiment

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Grizwald
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A thought experiment

Postby Grizwald » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:10 pm

This is a follow-up to kiting alone.


You are on a 32 foot sailboat, sailing in some remote archipelago and you pull into nice little anchorage in a large bay. You anchor about half a kilometer from shore. There is not another soul for many miles. The trades have been consistent all week around 16 knots. Wind is onshore. Charts are a little vague. You can see a few coral heads. Rollers are breaking on the outer reef. There is no significant beach, mostly mangroves but a few areas with rocks.
How would this scenario affect your decision making / planning for kiting?

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:27 pm

Depends on:

how bad you wanna kite
how far to the next safer option
your competence at sorting gear and relaunching when you have a downed kite.

If your super keen on sessioning the place, its not going to be simply the next day before your at a proper beach, and your an accomplished kiter/waterman/swimmer it could be a kiting highlight.

I would likely do it. Risk to gear is different to personal safety. As long as I could swim back to the boat with or without the kite.

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby BWD » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:32 pm

With a mate, dinghy, no sweat. Alone and lost dinghy, less likely. But if you can find a sand bar or grass bed, easy enough I would say, having done 100’s of waist deep drift launch and recovery sessions. Scout the bay by dinghy if worried about grounding the big boat.

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:55 pm

Probably a failed experiment with me. I have little relevant boat experience, so none of the required context to really give you any decent advice.

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby Greenturtle » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:02 pm

Youre already alone on a sailboat in a remote archipelago, risk is already there, personally I would rig and ride alone there without hesitation. Staying near enough to swim back to the boat. If everything went wrong kite released fully and swim back to boat. If it goes worse than that, such as injury not allowing swim back, well thats that.
Being alone in any wilderness situation where accidents can happen, such as hunting, or really any outdoor pursuit, is very commonplace, and people do die doing it, but at least they were having an adventure. Id rather die alone in the wilds someday than never go there alone in the first place.

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby Grizwald » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:21 pm

The bay is relatively shallow, so the boat is anchored in the only area that the charts indicate is safe. The presence of the coral heads makes getting anywhere else on the bay not worth the risk for the big boat. There is relatively small tide changes, approx 1 foot. The place on which I am basing this question is F***ing magical. This was before I was kiting, but I dream about it regularly. The big issue is that if something went seriously wrong you would be a corpse rotting on the shore before anyone found you. If it was just that the wind died, or a line broke, you would be blown to shore and while it would be a long nasty slog you could make it back to the boat. Cell phone would definitely be useless, hand held VHF would probably be useless unless another yacht was in the area. Same for flares.
Would you do anything differently than if you were solo at your local beach?

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby or6 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:45 pm

The golden rule: never go out further than you can swim. Swimming against the wind is not easy...would I do it? Don't know, probably yes. Doesn't sound like a very risky spot....but all it takes is some bad luck and you're swimming.

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby Greenturtle » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:52 pm

Take your dingy / kayak /sup to shore and launch from there. Surely you would have one of those options with you.

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby apollo4000 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:56 pm

Some answers:

The practical: I would risk assess the situation using a spreadsheet and if I decided the risk was acceptable and mitigation’s setup, ride the bay, possibly naked if warm and sunny.

The f***king magical: I would kite like Kevin, pulling awesome mega loops as dolphins swam by my side and mermaids sang sweetly from the shore, definitely naked in the second one.

The reality: somewhere in between, maybe just in boardies :D

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Re: A thought experiment

Postby Toby » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:05 pm

dude, you gotta boat and are alone? Something is wrong here...
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