Almost all of my voyaging has been near coastal and it's pretty easy to believe nothing could go terribly wrong in such a situation, despite the fact that we know things do. In fact, I think back now to a trip I made between Cuttyhunk and Block Island several summers ago, I still shudder. Despite a mild forecast, the wind picked up and the weather turned vicious. The sky was black and low, the seas were steep and high. The auto-pilot was useless in those conditions and I spent about 8 of the longest hours of my life at the helm, just having to ride it out. Idiotically, no one knew we where we were. Sure, we had a reservation at a marina. But as a former dockmaster, I can tell you that no-shows (even ones that have paid in full) are fairly common and don't set off any alarm bells.