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Old 26-04-2010, 11:42   #271
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I am a MD and occasional solo sailor. I believe the sleep dep. studies. The other day I went out on a overnighter, things got rough and everyone got too seasick to handle watch. After 7 hours I was too tired do anything but drop the hook. The rest were already sleeping below...
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:09   #272
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I find that I can stay awake and alert for three days (two nights). Beyond that sleep becomes involuntary for me. If I haven't found a decent anchorage by then for a couple of days regeneration, I'm in trouble. All the electronics you can afford are great, but I have done it with only a compass and a lead line. ...Jim
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:36   #273
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Having a good strong boat and reliable, plentiful electronics makes the difference. Then learn to cat-nap in the daytime and you will not have a problem during the nights. Of course this is predicated on sailing in waters quite a bit away from any land or other obstacles and shipping lanes. Coastal or island hopping is pretty much restricted to one and at the most two nights as you will be needing to carefully monitor the navigation and radar at night to avoid fishing boats and larger obstacles like an island.
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Old 05-05-2010, 00:54   #274
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I think the big issue is where you are. If you are single handing coastal then the need to sleep is a no brainer, you can sail from anchorage to anchorage in 12 to 24 hours, if you are island hoping and at sea for a couple of days or more, then the smart move is to keep out or to the side of the shipping routs.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:21   #275
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea?

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
The Linux penguin?

Well, not completely ridiculous because the contemporary Swedish genius Mr Håkan Lans does look somewhat like an old penguin. But he is not the Linux penguin...
(If he was a Yankee doodle doff, you would have heard all about him for sure! The narrow cultural cringe, you know...)
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Old 13-05-2011, 14:56   #276
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

I'm setting up my next boat - a junk - to have a rigid dodger, almost completly enclosing the cockpit. In that space will be seats, port and stbd, facing inboard. Each will have a restricted view to the horizon, be foam padded, and have a car seatbelt for keeping me in while snoozing.
The other comment I have is to sleep during the day, and stay on watch all night - become nocturnal for safety.
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Old 13-05-2011, 16:20   #277
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

My problem with folks who run their vessels while the occupants, or occupant, "themselves", are asleep, with NO ONE on watch, is this:

I frequently go to windward in high wind and waves, and the motion on our little trimaran in those conditions is "lively" to say the least. I may well be on watch, at night, while my wife tries to rest. I can avoid LARGE vessels, like ships, while also ducking below for 5 minutes to make myself a cup of soup. Ships, with their lights bright and high up, are obvious for a LONG way. In good visibility, If I scan carefully before I duck below, I can be assured that their are no "ships" within 5 minutes of me. This is not necessarily true of small sailboats. They are frequently within 1 or 2 minutes of me before I catch a glimpse of their small bouncing tricolor light. If it is raining, they may be within 30 seconds before I see them! The saving grace is that responsible behavior "and maritime law", dictates that BOTH vessels keep a watch. In this case, if one person has ducked below to make a cup of something, or take a whizz, OR they just didn't see you, then the other skipper is highly unlikely to be doing the same, "at exactly the same time". Both skippers being on watch shares the responsibility of avoiding collision 50/50.

If one vessel has no one on watch, it puts the other vessel at twice the risk of collision, without their having made that choice or being consulted first. It "assumes" that the OTHER skipper will see you, and requires a level of vigilance on their part that is difficult for days on end, and impossible in poor visibility.

I have had a number of close calls with small sailboats due to their having no one on watch. If I had been on a larger boat, and had better visibility, or not been dead tired, I might have seen them BEFORE we were within 100'! To see the other boat ghost by with no one on watch, and I'm already doing the best I possibly can, but didn't see them earlier... and we nearly collided, kinda sandpapers me! I'd like the other guy to be watching to the best of HIS ability too! THEN, if we collide, it's **** happens, VS if one skipper is below asleep, it's that person MAKING **** happen.

I can well sympathize with the fact that some folks simply do not have a sailing mate. It is more their "predicament" than first choice. I was a solo sailor for 20 years before I met my wife. I either had temporary crew, or did day hops no further than I could go without sleep. I have known others who made passages and the wife chose not to go. They were always capable of finding a crew for the passage to an island group, then they could resume day hops, without leaving the vessel "without a watch", except on rare occasions.

I understand that some well equipped blue water vessels have an electronic equivalent of watch. That is better than not having it, but I doubt that my wooden boat, (even with it's Firdell Bliper), would show up if you filter out the high waves & rain in rough weather. Hopefully I'm wrong on that count???

ALL dozen or so single handed sailors that I have known personally, were really nice guys, but they were poor young men with funkey boats hung together out of habit. They had none of these electronics, and their batteries often got REALLY low at night, so their nav lights were either dim, or OUT entirely. AND THEY HAD NO ONE ON WATCH!

I realize that there are a lot of folks who just don't care about the other guy... It's up to THEM to avoid a collision. Their are others that feel they are between a rock and a hard place, and would LIKE to share the responsibility, rather than dump 100% of it on the other guy. For them, I suggest that you choose destinations that allow for LOTS of short day hops, (my favorite kind of cruising, diving, and living anchored out)... And to get there, take on crew as often as it can be arranged.

IMO... Weather one is single handed or not, we ALL have a responsibility to "more or less" be on watch at all times, rather than sleeping below in a mindless machine, while under way.

For you other guys, I will continue to keep watch for you as best I can, but for the reasons I mentioned, one of your brethren have nearly run me down on several occasions, IN SPITE of my being on watch. Something to think about...

Best of luck to all of us, in those situations.

M.
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Old 13-05-2011, 16:28   #278
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

Someone explain to me why it is best to be awake at night when visibility is the most limited and one is least likely to spot danger rather than the day when visibility is better.
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Old 13-05-2011, 16:37   #279
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

The BIG advantage of being a solo sailor and asleep down below is that you know that no one on deck is keeping watch.........rather than enjoying the delusion that the person on watch is actually doing the job.
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Old 13-05-2011, 18:17   #280
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

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Originally Posted by Billy Higgins View Post
I'm setting up my next boat - a junk - to have a rigid dodger, almost completly enclosing the cockpit. In that space will be seats, port and stbd, facing inboard. Each will have a restricted view to the horizon, be foam padded, and have a car seatbelt for keeping me in while snoozing.
The other comment I have is to sleep during the day, and stay on watch all night - become nocturnal for safety.
Id like to see a photo posted of that, Sounds interesting.
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Old 13-05-2011, 19:14   #281
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

Mark,
Good post with a few exceptions. While underway as a solo sailor I NEVER sleep below!!!
I take issue with your characterisation of all single handlers are young men on junk boats who have poor social skills. We more mature singlehandlers in our well found boats tend to avoid people who hold us in low regard.
Here's a news flash for you: There are women of all ages and boat sizes out here singlehandling, some circumnavagate the world, more that once.
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Old 13-05-2011, 19:22   #282
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pirate Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

[QUOTE=John A;686081]Mark,
I take issue with your characterisation of all single handlers are young men on junk boats who have poor social skills.QUOTE]

Yeah... some of us are old men with junk boats but great social skills...
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Old 14-05-2011, 18:10   #283
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

I prefer to sail alone, but usually, my wife tells me she is coming along!

I have a fairly hard dodger ( self design etc) which keeps the breeze and water out.

When I have sailed solo on passage, (Top end of Australia) I snooze in the cockpit - sailbags with bean bag 'beans' in them and a timer to wake me up for a look around every 12 minutes. It takes about 3 days for my body to get used to this routine, however, what I have travelled was only 3-4 days in length anyway. I dont feel sleep deprived, but when I arrived and drop the anchor, I slept for a full 24 hr period, so I must have been sleep deprived!

As for the anti social bit, I found that solo sailors cant shut up when they catch your ear. I could talk under wet cement - solo or not.
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Old 20-06-2011, 16:14   #284
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

As realtor’s say, it’s all about location, location, location. If you’re coastal cruising single handed, sleep is not an option without first planning your cruise for legs of “X” hours sailing to the next safe anchorages.

Once you hit the wild blue yonder however, and having planned to be as far away from the standard routes as the weather and wind will permit without adding Too many days of sailing time, despite all the rules, regulations, and protests from those who tend to sail with no fewer than 100 people on board, sleep Does become an option.

I use an amplified radar warning alarm system that I modified using components for the hearing impaired (I’m not) and I guarantee that this thing would awaken Lazarus.

I also use an alarm clock designed yet again for the hearing impaired, I set it for Two Hours, (That 20 minute routine does not work for me) and when it goes off, it makes a noise louder than a rutting Moose and, it sets off a small vibration device that is tucked into my shirt pocket. I also use Very bright LED navigation lights and I leave my radio turned on at high volume.

And although I go below for cooking and other priorities, I sleep topside, under cover, in a thick and waterproof sleeping bag and if the radar alarm or that damned alarm clock system goes off, I check around and if all is well, I set the alarm for another two hours and crash out again.

I vary my sleep start times relative to the time zone I’m headed for and it works for me (No Jet Lag)

Is that safe? Well I have been doing this sort of thing all over the world for more than 50 years using far less technology than I employ these days and I guess the fact that I’m writing this suggests that I’m still around.

I know that the “Elf and Safety” fanatics will faint at the notion of me doing what I do but then, these days, they would probably also castigate me for buying my kids a bike, or a skate board, or even a pencil (You could poke your eye out with one of those “Soon to be banned” dangerous devices).

Let me ask you this: Should we praise folks like Francis Chichester? Or these days, would it be more correct to demand that he be strung up by his painful regions for being a danger to those afloat?.

Like it or not, there are lot’s of folks out there who love the solo sailing life and Because they are solo, I think they are probably a whole lot safer than most of the casual weekend wannabees…James

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Old 20-06-2011, 16:38   #285
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Re: Singlehanding - Sleeping - Good Idea ?

Although we always have someone on watch, I think the way James approaches sleep offshore is reasonable. You do what you gotta do. Some people sleep offshore in a more responsible manner than others. All offshore sleepers are not the same.
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