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Old 18-07-2015, 06:55   #16
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Re: Sleeping offshore

Earplugs - essential

Trustworthy crew - essential. I have standing orders that the crew must sign off.

I generally use a modified Swedish watch system. 0600-1200, 1200-1800, 1800-2300, 2300-0300, 0300. That allows for longer periods of rest. The shorter period in the dark seem to work well.

I have a 3 person crew (including myself) this fall for a cat delivery from Cape Town to Trinidad. We are going to try a 4 on, 8 off. When we get to St. Helena, I will assess that.
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Old 19-07-2015, 06:54   #17
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Earplugs - essential

Trustworthy crew - essential. I have standing orders that the crew must sign off.

I generally use a modified Swedish watch system. 0600-1200, 1200-1800, 1800-2300, 2300-0300, 0300. That allows for longer periods of rest. The shorter period in the dark seem to work well.

I have a 3 person crew (including myself) this fall for a cat delivery from Cape Town to Trinidad. We are going to try a 4 on, 8 off. When we get to St. Helena, I will assess that.
Good advice. Thanks.
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Old 19-07-2015, 15:10   #18
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I'm not sure this would qualify as a trick for you, but I'll tell you what I do. First off, it is all linked to our watch schedule, which is a loose 6 on 6 off in the day, and more formal 6 and 6 through the dark. This means I have to have my first off watch at 1800. Now, it is often still light, and hard to go to sleep then, so I take melatonin, 1 mg., and if I can't find the 1 mg ones, I'll take 1/2 of a 3 mg one. It helps me fall back asleep when I rouse, and I awaken "naturally", without feeling drowsy, as one might with dramamine or benadryl. After 3 days, I'm fine. It does take the whole 3 days for me, though. Always discontinue use after 3 or 4 days. One can become habituated to melatonin.

I also wedge myself with pillows, if need be, so my body feels "safe."

In addition, during this period, I will use Stugeron (cinnarizine HCl) against seasickness. For me, there are no side effects on this regime.

Also, trusting your crew will help you to sleep on your offwatch. The crew, of course, has to earn that trust, so for the first little bit, I would expect to have to wake up for every little thing, till you know they're keeping watch or handling the sails effectively, or , or, or...... There really is an adjustment from land based life to being on an ocean passage, trust yourself to accomplish it easily, it's one of the areas where positive thinking helps.

Ann
Things have changed as far as melatonin intake. It is recommended that Brain cancer patients take 15-20mg a night. It has proven to be effective against the cancer.

http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazin...atonin/Page-03

The stuff I use has 5mg of melatonin and is called Super Snooze Melatonin Formula. I like to sleep early especially if I take a 3 mile run or 20-30 mile bike ride plus weight training etc because I am old (nearing 60) I need the sleep.

I do it on the boat also....
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Old 19-07-2015, 17:54   #19
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Re: Sleeping offshore

If I'm reading your post correctly, it seems as though an increased level of anxiety while doing over night passages is interfering with your sleep patterns.

It sounds as though you may need to calm yourself a bit. So,

-try and get some vigorous exercise during the day (hard on a boat).

-avoid (or reduce) caffeine for 5-6 hours before bed time.

-develop a bedtime routine. If it can mirror your shore side routine even better. Brush your teeth etc.

-breathing exercises such as square breathing or yoga may help.

I spent several years on commercial vessels, science, ice breakers etc. Working 6 hours on 6 hours off, 24 7 in all weather conditions. I find my best sleeps were always- when I got home.

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Old 19-07-2015, 19:19   #20
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Re: Sleeping offshore

What about the times when the 20 minute kitchen timer routine gets too much for the singlehander? Does one deliberately sail away from the shipping lanes and risk a nap of some hours during daytime in good weather to recharge the sleep bank account, accepting the risk that Helmsman Dozy McRadar on that supertanker will miss by a safe margin?
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Old 19-07-2015, 19:41   #21
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Re: Sleeping offshore

I spent many years doing 12 hr shifts offshore. I found that hitting the rack asap after my tour and getting up and busy as soon as my eyes opened helped me acclimate to a sleep "now" schedule.

Underway in my boat? I am lucky to get 4 hrs, even with trusted crew.


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Old 19-07-2015, 20:58   #22
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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What about the times when the 20 minute kitchen timer routine gets too much for the singlehander? Does one deliberately sail away from the shipping lanes and risk a nap of some hours during daytime in good weather to recharge the sleep bank account, accepting the risk that Helmsman Dozy McRadar on that supertanker will miss by a safe margin?
Disclaimer - I am opposed to single-handed sailing.

There is no such thing as shipping lanes. Ocean going shipping takes the shortest possible routes.
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Old 19-07-2015, 23:55   #23
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Disclaimer - I am opposed to single-handed sailing.
Interesting.... Lots of self professed " Single Handers" on this board may take issue with that.

Not me of course
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Old 20-07-2015, 06:15   #24
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Interesting.... Lots of self professed " Single Handers" on this board may take issue with that.

Not me of course
They might, but the rules do not back them up. I am agnostic on the subject, but single-handers do not keep a visual watch 24/7 at sea, which is a pretty blatant violation of the colregs.
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Old 20-07-2015, 06:17   #25
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Things have changed as far as melatonin intake. It is recommended that Brain cancer patients take 15-20mg a night. It has proven to be effective against the cancer.

LE Magazine, January 2004 - Report: Melatonin and Cancer Treatment

The stuff I use has 5mg of melatonin and is called Super Snooze Melatonin Formula. I like to sleep early especially if I take a 3 mile run or 20-30 mile bike ride plus weight training etc because I am old (nearing 60) I need the sleep.

I do it on the boat also....
I tried melatonin with not much success several years ago when I was working a screwy schedule and had to sleep during the day. It's entirely possible, though that I was either taking it at the wrong time and/or in the wrong dosage.
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Old 20-07-2015, 17:40   #26
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Interesting.... Lots of self professed " Single Handers" on this board may take issue with that.

Not me of course
Actually, let me reword that by saying offhsore, bluewater, ocean, extended, etcc

I single-hand when I can stop for the night at a dock, anchor or pick up a buoy.
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Old 20-07-2015, 20:35   #27
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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I like a nice 10 hour sleep especially after I do my 3 mile run, pullups, and pushups a couple times a week. Then I like to ride 20 miles or so on my bike whenever possible.
Who wouldn't but you won't be doing much long distance sailing unless you scale that back a bit.
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Old 21-07-2015, 13:17   #28
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Disclaimer - I am opposed to single-handed sailing.

There is no such thing as shipping lanes. Ocean going shipping takes the shortest possible routes.
Lonesome sailing also doesn't appeal to me, but I'm probably not the only one that will more than likely have no other choice.

I suppose one could religiously follow the rules and scan the horizon at intervals less than most ships would take to come over that horizon and run you down; say 15 to 20 minutes....but what is the effectiveness of such a watchman after a couple of weeks of this, 24/7? And what of the famously poor lookout kept by minimum wage cargohaul crews with radar that shows nothing day after day on the open ocean? Generalisations, yes, but frequent enough to consider seriously.

It isn't just the little private sailors not keeping proper watch. Given that the commercial traffic takes the most economical route, there are places where one can expect to see less traffic. There are also times when there is less likelihood for even a dozy crew to miss a small sailboat; daytime sunshine (meaning no fog, not that the sun shines any other time other than day; regardless of authors posture....ed) vs nighttime rain, for instance.

Wouldn't the naughty single sailor be more prudent to:

1. stay off the beaten track, and
2. conserve his effectiveness for the times when it is needed; by accepting a risk when it is low, such as a couple of hours nap in perfect visibility, so that he isn't a zombie when he needs his wits about him. He is less likely to nod off on his night 15min snooze, or make some fatigue-based blunder, if he has taken at least a little rest when he had a better chance.

I'm also thinking of the crew where illness or accident leaves only one capable person to run the show. Or the technical sailor used to his electronics losing them all, no radar, ais, spot, gps, satphone, radio or epirb. There aren't any new accidents, we keep having the same ones in various combinations of failure cascades. Banning the solo sailor isn't the catchall solution; but this isn't an excuse for the solo to weasel out of responsibility, but to take extra care to not get on the news, or an obituary.

Let's not discourage the solo sailors...and thank you for your caveat based on experience.
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Old 21-07-2015, 13:26   #29
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Re: Sleeping offshore

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Lonesome sailing also doesn't appeal to me, but I'm probably not the only one that will more than likely have no other choice.

I suppose one could religiously follow the rules and scan the horizon at intervals less than most ships would take to come over that horizon and run you down; say 15 to 20 minutes....but what is the effectiveness of such a watchman after a couple of weeks of this, 24/7? And what of the famously poor lookout kept by minimum wage cargohaul crews with radar that shows nothing day after day on the open ocean? Generalisations, yes, but frequent enough to consider seriously.

It isn't just the little private sailors not keeping proper watch. Given that the commercial traffic takes the most economical route, there are places where one can expect to see less traffic. There are also times when there is less likelihood for even a dozy crew to miss a small sailboat; daytime sunshine (meaning no fog, not that the sun shines any other time other than day; regardless of authors posture....ed) vs nighttime rain, for instance.

Wouldn't the naughty single sailor be more prudent to:

1. stay off the beaten track, and
2. conserve his effectiveness for the times when it is needed; by accepting a risk when it is low, such as a couple of hours nap in perfect visibility, so that he isn't a zombie when he needs his wits about him. He is less likely to nod off on his night 15min snooze, or make some fatigue-based blunder, if he has taken at least a little rest when he had a better chance.

I'm also thinking of the crew where illness or accident leaves only one capable person to run the show. Or the technical sailor used to his electronics losing them all, no radar, ais, spot, gps, satphone, radio or epirb. There aren't any new accidents, we keep having the same ones in various combinations of failure cascades. Banning the solo sailor isn't the catchall solution; but this isn't an excuse for the solo to weasel out of responsibility, but to take extra care to not get on the news, or an obituary.

Let's not discourage the solo sailors...and thank you for your caveat based on experience.
You know many professional seamen working for minimum wage? Skippers and first mates I know are making $150 000- $250 000/ year. Second and third mates $60 000-100 000, ratings such as oilers and wheelsmen $50 000- $75 000. Of course there are exceptions, especially amongst unlicensed crews, but generally speaking, professional mariners are very well compensated.

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Old 21-07-2015, 13:41   #30
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Re: Sleeping offshore

Well, ok then, well paid crews, if that is the majority of the population under the bell curve.
They're not immune to complacency, mistakes or glitches, are they?

With the state of the economy the only lines hauling are the cheap ones, if anyone is hauling anything at all. I don't fancy getting run down by the worst crew in the industry, but I doubt getting squished by the best will feel any different.

I'm not saying the commercials are dopes, or that sailing isn't without risk; but I don't see that solo sailing should be ruled out just because they're alone. There are enough well attended disasters, and incident-free soloists, to show it isn't just numbers.
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