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Old 10-06-2017, 08:07 PM   #17
BandB's Avatar
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17,432
You're right to think about it now, but such a low probability. Engines start, run you a good distance, too far to return to shore, then they're very likely to make it.

Now, as to the situation you describe.

1. Remain calm and in control. Don't you panic and you showing that as captain will keep others from doing so.

2. Assess the real situation. Is there really an eminent danger? So, I'm being driven north and may hit FL in Melbourne. The point is at this point, all you truly care about is getting to shore or getting close enough to get Sea Tow or Towboat US. Their coverage includes the Bahamas too so don't forget that. You might need assistance in reaching them or might not. I would try to get communication with them and if it had to go through the CG that's fine.

3. You're floating around in the middle of a beautiful sea in relatively calm water hopefully. If that's true it doesn't matter how slow the trip is. Maybe you'll all catch some fish. Now it does matter that people on shore expecting you know where you are. It would be a nice time to gain sailing experience.

If I ever doubted the value of a satellite phone, the hurricanes blew all doubt away. If making this trip regularly I'd have one. For a while our only communication with Key West and Puerto Rico was satellite phones.

My point is that unless the captain makes it an emergency it's not one, just a big inconvenience. Now if conditions are changing or projected to change rapidly then do treat it more seriously. Most people dream of being out under the moon and stars on a boat between the Bahamas and Florida. Take turns getting at least a little rest.

If it happens, which I doubt it ever will, I hope you end up with a good story to tell and laugh about spending the night out there and where you ended up or where the tow boat came to pull you the last distance. I would suggest if you want to understand even better then talk to tow operators in the area too and ask them about situations like you describe. I'll guarantee you won't be the first.
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