People often ask us how we would sleep out in the ocean where it's too deep to anchor? The answer is hove to. This night we slept with 2 reefs in the main and the staysail, keeping us steady in the calm seas.
We were 20 miles out, with no risk of running aground, no one around, just vast amounts of empty ocean surrounding us. Absolute peace and tranquility!
That night we never came up to do watches as there was no fear of running into shore or obstacles. We set the AIS proximity alarm to 2 miles and went to sleep as we drifted along at speeds ranging from 0.2 to 1 knot. I figured that if we slept for 10 hours, that would only be 2 to 10 miles drifted which would still place us 10 miles from shore if we aimed straight for land all night.
We ended up drifting 8.9 miles straight towards shore, placing us around 12 miles from the coast over 12 hours. Still plenty far for comfort as far as I'm concerned.
This was the first time in the whole trip that I never awoke. I never got up to do watches, I never awoke in a panic thinking the anchor was dragging, I slept beautifully and so did Maddie!
I knew in my heart that this would be our last day in the ocean for this trip, and I really didn't want to return to the bay yet. I offered the idea of sailing North and coming in the Delaware Bay to enter the top of the Chesapeake Bay, but Maddie really wanted to sail up the bay, passing all the places we had seen on our way down.
The next time we go out to sea, I'm really going to look forward to our nights far offshore, sleeping hove to without worrying about a thing.
Sleeping hove to will not move you towards your destination as quickly as sailing around the clock would; but it will let you get a wonderful full night of restorative sleep that will make you ready to go full force when the morning comes.