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Old 09-11-2007, 14:05   #61
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What I have done can hardly a be called a voyage, but I've done several coastal overniters. I would start taking 15-20 minute naps almost immedietlly, even though I wasn't tired. I think someone here called that "banking" sleep. Each trip was 36-40 hours, and after arriving at the destination, I was still able to go ashore to shop or explore. When I finally did go to sleep, I was good for about 10 hours. I don't know how long I could have continued with with the 20 minute routine, but I was never tired when I did it.
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Old 09-11-2007, 14:15   #62
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Don't want to hi-jack this thread, and I don't know much about night vision - except that mine isn't particularly good. But, I am a believer in the mind's ability to fill-in blind spots - sort of like a sampling or fuzzy image computer program.

The blind spot is well documented:

Neuroscience for Kids - Vision Exp.

One thing I know something about is hitting baseballs - I used to be pretty good at it. One time I faced a very tall, 90+ mph pitcher, on a high (pre-'69) mound (don't know whether height of the pitcher and the mound made a difference - and this was long post '69). The count was 2 and 1 and he threw a thigh high inside corner fast ball. Just where I wanted it. I swung and probably would have hit that imaginary ball for a home run or a very long foul ball. Good thing I kept my head in because the real ball hit me square in the side of my batting helmet. I'm told it was indeed a 90+ mph fast ball, it was indeed inside (duh), and it didn't move - it was straight at my head all the way. I have swung at and missed many pitches by an inch or two or maybe 5 or 6, but I never before or since missed one by 3 feet. The size and location of blind spots varries from person to person and eye to eye.
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Old 09-11-2007, 17:22   #63
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quote.."The rods are much more sensitive to light but don't see colour very well," it is for that reason that red light should be used if you need to preserve your night vision. It has the least effect on the rods. It takes up to half an hour for the rods to become fully active in a very low light situation, and they are too sensitive to operate in normal light. ....The book "Life at the extremes,The science of survival" by Frances Ashcroft. published by Flamingo (Harper Collins) isbn 0 06551254 is HIGHLY RECOMENDED. Great read, enough amazing facts to out nerd even the most hardened nerd (unless they have read it too) : )
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Old 09-11-2007, 18:22   #64
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The easy answer is anywhere warm and 5,000 shades of blue under the keel, but Unfortunately I can not answer that question at this time. I have only been able to sail in the pacific, and sea of cortez. But I spent 3 months on Palmyra island ( south of Hawaii ) and I have a difficult time imagining a better place to drop a hook. I look forward to finding other " must see " destinations
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D
If you loved Palmyra (as did I) you'll love Middleton Reef. It's 300 miles East of Brisbane Australia. Best snorkeling, fishing and diving anywhere. Of course, there are no islands like Palmyra but exploring the 300 ship wrecks on the reef is a hoot. The anchorage is very safe and I have never seen another vessel there in my 2 - 10 day visits.

I spent 3 months in Palmyra in '84 and again in '94. I love that place.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:57   #65
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You can't 'bank' sleep. What happens is that you get yourself into a routine of 'cat-napping'. It can be kept up for considerable periods of time, but when you change the routine you'll sleep solidly for anything up to 24 hours. The important thing is not to imagine that you can stay awake for 30+ hours and still function as normal, the decision-making process goes to hell in a hand-basket. Start cat-napping early on, but don't go into deep sleep, stay in REM sleep otherwise, again, decision making is impaired. The basic sleep-cycle is like a sine wave, REM - deep-REM takes about 90 minutes, this cycle continues all the time we sleep. Either sleep for about 90 minutes to complete one cycle or 20 minutes (approximately) to avoid going into deep sleep.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:49   #66
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Sleeping

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You can't 'bank' sleep. What happens is that you get yourself into a routine of 'cat-napping'. It can be kept up for considerable periods of time, but when you change the routine you'll sleep solidly for anything up to 24 hours. The important thing is not to imagine that you can stay awake for 30+ hours and still function as normal, the decision-making process goes to hell in a hand-basket. Start cat-napping early on, but don't go into deep sleep, stay in REM sleep otherwise, again, decision making is impaired. The basic sleep-cycle is like a sine wave, REM - deep-REM takes about 90 minutes, this cycle continues all the time we sleep. Either sleep for about 90 minutes to complete one cycle or 20 minutes (approximately) to avoid going into deep sleep.
This is the first time I see a 90 min sleeping plan. it looks good. Do you put the Radar alarm on a 10 Mile range? will it wake you up? do you sleep in the cockpit in full clothes? do you sleep with your Life Jacket on and clipped to a rope attached to the boat?

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Old 10-11-2007, 08:09   #67
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[quote=migot1;110517]This is the first time I see a 90 min sleeping plan. it looks good. Do you put the Radar alarm on a 10 Mile range? will it wake you up? do you sleep in the cockpit in full clothes? do you sleep with your Life Jacket on and clipped to a rope attached to the boat?=/quote]
Trout is on target - the human sleep cycle is 90 minutes and involves going through a deep sleep REM state. If you sleep less than 20 minutes odds are good you did not go in to REM and wake up feeling relatively refreshed; if you wake up after 90-120 minutes then you have slept through a REM cycle and also feel refreshed. The thing to avoid is waking up in the middle of a deep REM state - this is when you get up feeling groggy, not sure where you are, and it can take some time to get your bearings - you feel anything but refreshed.

The sleep management folk suggest what Trout points out - plan to either sleep less than 20 minutes or coninue to sleep through the REM state and come out the other side at 90-120 minutes. The professional/competitive solo sailors work with a sleep coach to determine their individual cycle and how to best work the demands of sailing the boat around their sleep cycle. I have attended a seminar on sleep cycles but have not worked with a coach to nail down my particular sleep pattern (I compete in singlehanded races for fun, not as a professional).

By banking sleep I mean that if an opportunity to sleep presents itself, take advantage of it even if you do not feel tired. When singlehanding I never know when swinging legs out of bunk if I'm popping up for a quick 5 minute survey of the horizon, weather, boat, and then back to bunk - or if I'll be up for four hours changing sails and gybing the boat twice to work through a squall. If I was awake all afternoon because it was beautiful on deck and then crash into the bunk when I'm tired, then I have learned I will be dog-tired when I get up 20 minutes later. One thing I can do is drop into a sleep state quickly (less than a minute) so it's straight-forward for me to get some sleep regardless of how excited/refreshed I feel.

[quote=migot1;110517]do you sleep in the cockpit in full clothes? do you sleep with your Life Jacket on and clipped to a rope attached to the boat?=/quote]

Sleeping in the cockpit is something many of the transpac competitors do when running spinnakers at night deep in squall country. The goal is to not get run over by a squall with it's associated shift in wind speed/direction, while the spinnaker is flying. A convenient approach is to sleep face up on the cockpit floor, set the regular alarm, and if it begins to rain on you as the leading edge of the squall overtakes the boat it wakes you up before the alarm does. Sleeping in a harness takes a bit of getting used to as the buckles poke you, and I do sleep clipped in when in the cockpit. For that matter I sleep in the harness when in the bunk as it becomes a hassle to climb in and out of the harness just for a short visit to topsides - simpler to leave the harness in place and ready to use.

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Old 10-11-2007, 09:25   #68
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So where the heck do you find a sleep coach?
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:57   #69
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<<So where the heck do you find a sleep coach?>>

Ask Will. He is a grand master. His excellent coaching has me on the road to mastering the art.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:23   #70
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Sleeping in the cockpit...

When soloing, I *live* in the cockpit. I cook, eat, sleep, read, navigate there, only going below for supplies, checking the computer, etc. I tend to sleep in a ball in the forward stbd corner of the cockpit. Mostly because I'm paranoid.

I'm not as fast as Beetle, and I sleep through light rain because if I didn't I wouldn't sleep at all (sailing in the PNW). I try to sleep during the day, and stay up most of the night.

But I won't be doing any of that for a bit, at least, since my autopilot seems to have piled it in... <sigh>
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:32   #71
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So where the heck do you find a sleep coach?
Sleep management from the sailing perspective most closely aligns itself to sports medicine - sleeping well is one of the foundations for doing well on the field.

We talked to the sports coaches at the local university and were recommended to a psychologist/sports coach at another local university that was studied how the mind behaves and how sleep impacts the mind. She put together a seminar on sleep management that clearly demonstrated what sleeping was, what it did for the body, and then framed our goals within a sleep cycle. There's a lot going on that I wasn't aware of and somehow sleeping became more than just closing your eyes to rest - there were good times to sleep, bad times to sleep, sleep rythyms, paying attention to your body such that you knew you in advance when you would need to sleep so you could plan when to eat - it was a lot of information to think about. She left us with a clear understanding of how sleep (and lack thereof) impacted what we wanted to do (sail a long way with minimized time spent sleeping), and ideas on how to minimize that impact.

If a local university doesn't come through, talk with your doctor and ask them for a referal to someone that works with athletes and sleep management. You might also call around to the local professional sports teams (football, baseball, hockey, basketball) and find out whom they use to help their players with sleep issues. That person will likely find it interesting to help with sailing sleep patterns as the sleep needs are not what they routinely work with on the team; sometimes variety is a good thing.

You might find this an interesting article as regards the round the world solo folks:

Sport and sleep - Sommeil et médecine générale

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Old 10-11-2007, 12:02   #72
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Mike, I can't add much else to what others have posted after my last comment. It has been determined that human sleep is like a series of sine waves, going from REM down to a deep sleep and then coming up to REM sleep again. This is one complete cycle and takes about 90 minutes. The 'trick' is to either wake just after the REM stage or go through the entire cycle until you 'come back up' to REM sleep. I'm sure you've had the experience when you wake from a deep sleep and don't function or think very well for a few minutes, that's something to be avoided at sea!. It's also been found, out of interest, that if we are put in a place where we have no reference to natural light or a watch, we operate to a 25 hour cycle...not applicable at sea, of course.
I'm not sure I'd recommend sleeping for a full 90 minutes, it would depend where you were I suppose. The thing is to avoid becoming tired and to do that you need to get into the routine quickly. I think when I spoke about banking sleep I was meaning something different to others here. If you know you are going to have a late night tomorrow it's no good getting 'extra' sleep tonight, it doesn't work like that. You can't 'deposit unwanted sleep in the bank', but you can get into your chosen sleeping routine quickly.
I normally sleep clothed, below. Clothed because I'm getting up every 20 mins or so and below because I want to make sure that I actually wake up, get up and have a look around. I'm not talking about racing here so I'm not under any pressure to 'tweak' the boat. Others may prefer to sleep in the cockpit, in which case I personally think it would be wise to clip on (harness).
I must admit that on my solo trips I'd use the 20 minute routine at night and sleep for longer periods during the day. My reasoning (probably not very logical) was that other people/ships were likely to be up and about during daylight hours and keeping a watch. The problem with that is that on ships the watch officer may be busy with paperwork etc and not keeping much of a lookout. Historically, a lot of the early 'cruisers' used to reef down at night and go to sleep, trusting to statistics to keep them safe, but these days there is more traffic about.
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Old 10-11-2007, 18:13   #73
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There is one other suggestion which I have read but not done. That is to get off of popular routes sailing over or under by up to 50 miles, so that when one does sleep, you are not on a "popular" highway. So for example, if you were going from New York to London, there is one rumb line that is used widely, avoid this line, instead sail "off" of it so that if you do go to sleep, you don't get run down.
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Old 10-11-2007, 21:51   #74
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There is one other suggestion which I have read but not done. That is to get off of popular routes sailing over or under by up to 50 miles, so that when one does sleep, you are not on a "popular" highway. So for example, if you were going from New York to London, there is one rumb line that is used widely, avoid this line, instead sail "off" of it so that if you do go to sleep, you don't get run down.
Ships Captains don't usually use rumb-line routing. They use "Great-circle" then adjust for weather conditions. They often like to travel, "Down-wind" and avoid windward passages, if possible. They use pretty suffisticated, computerized routing software that is tied into satellite weather info.

After many years of long ocean passages, I have learned that there is no such things as "Shipping Routes" in the open ocean. Ships can show up anywhere, any time. Mostly, you will seldom see ships after you are 100 miles off shore. I would say, maybe, 1 a day, if you are lucky. I saw 4 ships on a 59 day passage from Cape Town So Africa to Annapolis Maryland. That was running radar 24/7.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:01   #75
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There may be more safety in visibility than in position.

We used to transit Cat/Gunn Cay to Nassau, Bahamas. Often we’d overnight on the Banks, nearby the Russel Beacon (about 60nm East of Cat, & 25 nm West of Chubb).
Typically, we might anchor “all alone” about 1 nm north of the Beacon, at around 4:00 PM, and be asleep by 8:00 PM.
By the time I awoke at 4:00 AM, there might be as many as a dozen boats anchored about us. I suspect they presumed that we new something “special”.
We didn’t - we were just trying to stay off the “magenta line” between Chubb Cay & Cat Cay.
I suspect our safety was more due to the proximate constellation of multiple anchor lights, than to our position “off” the usual route.
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