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Old 05-09-2015, 21:12   #136
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

"and I generally only got four to six hours of sleep in the morning "
Shipping has from necessity come from the tradition of "wooden ships and iron men" but like coal mining, long distance trucking, hospitals and medical schools (terribly oddly) it has refused to take note of the past hundred years of fatigue and accident studies. Some people just prefer to believe in Superman and write off the collateral damages.
Yes, I knew one night watchman who swore he only slept from 1-4 in the afternoon heat and never needed anything more. So he said. Meanwhile the numbers that no one likes to note, record, or track, indicate drivers falling asleep may cause twice as many road deaths in the US as drunk driving.
The job of Superman is vastly underpaid and overrated.


If you can't or don't get one six-hour "great sleep" in every 24...the only valid excuse at any level for allowing that is "This is combat, we have no other choices."
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Old 05-09-2015, 21:47   #137
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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Originally Posted by four winds View Post
Maybe it's just my eyesight, but I don't think typical sailboat running lights are at all visible at the distance of the horizon.

Travelling parallel courses with a buddy boat recently seemed to reinforce this for me. As our courses diverged, while adjusting the AP to dial in a parallel course, and my friends lights became too dim to see he was nowhere near horizon distance.

I asked him to light his sails; he became very visible then of course, and appeared to be only two or three miles away. Granted it's hard for me to judge distance on open water at night, but still nowhere near the distance of the horizon.

I have little confidence in the egg timer method for this reason.
Four winds - Sailboat running lights are pretty hard to see from a distance. Sailboat running lights can help another pleasure boat rendevous, and maybe even change course to avoid a collission. But a collission betweeen two pleasure craft are not what we have mainly been concerned with here. Previous discussion has been about avoiding collissions between pleasure craft and large ships, at least that is what I've been talking about. And since a pleasure boat is harder to see from the bridge of a ship than a large ship from the cockpit of a sailboat, and the sailboat is MUCH more maneuverable than the large ship, and if there is a collission the large ship may not even know it and the pleasure craft may be sunk, there are a number of reasons for the small pleasure boat to do all in his power to avoid a collission:
1. The small boat will suffer more in a collission.
2. The sight line puts the small boat likely to be nearly invisible against the sea while the large ship is very visible against the sky at ranges small enough to show a risk of collission.
3. The small boat can more easily alter course and speed.
4. If the pleasure boat is to avoid the collission it is the ship[ that he must see. It is the lights on the ship that make a big difference. Since the large ship can do little to avoid a collission, maybe pick up suvivors after the collission should it occur, it is not necessary for the large ship to see the small pleasure craft's lights at a great distance.
If that's still misunderstood I give up!
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Old 05-09-2015, 22:00   #138
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Its weird after reading all the comments.. how most the americans are all "your going to die" and my mates here in England.. are telling me "see you in Barbados" ...ha ha ..

Like i said I'm more worried about freak waves than other ships.. to tell the truth if I had a 40+ boat with the right equipment I would solo sail around the world tomorrow... maybe I am bit mental.. but ... one day.. they say that boat years are full of broken dreams... i like my dream...
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Old 05-09-2015, 22:35   #139
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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......... , there are a number of reasons for the small pleasure boat to do all in his power to avoid a collission:
1.Cos it's really easy. Mid ocean an ais alarm will pick up almost everything and if you have a decent radar return you can watch a lot of the big stuff change course to give you a bit more sea room before they even appear over the horizon. The radar guard zone alarm will pick up the rest and squalls.
Then far from the nearest doctor you can take relax a little and be careful with some other more likely risks, like getting wacked on the head with the boom or burnt in the galley.
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Old 05-09-2015, 22:38   #140
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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Originally Posted by Fishbreath View Post
Its weird after reading all the comments.. how most the americans are all "your going to die" and my mates here in England.. are telling me "see you in Barbados" ...ha ha ..

Like i said I'm more worried about freak waves than other ships.. to tell the truth if I had a 40+ boat with the right equipment I would solo sail around the world tomorrow... maybe I am bit mental.. but ... one day.. they say that boat years are full of broken dreams... i like my dream...
Fishbreath - You obviously misunderstood. I have not said "you're going to die" nor have I understood any of the other comments to mean that. I, and my understanding of all others that may sound negative to you, feel fine with singlehanding. You're most likely not going to die if you understand and act as if it's you that is responsible to avoid a collission. The risk of possibly dieing goes up exponentially if you rely on any other boat to avoid collision with you. They MAY. But once you are sailing solo you have to act as if your life depends upon you and only you. Then go and enjoy. In the slow 19 day passage to Hawaii it was wonderful. I never had to yell at the crew. I never had to explain how I wanted anything done. Everything that was done was done just how I liked it, maybe not right by other people's stndards, but how I wanted it done. When I was resting nobody was carying on a conversation. When music was played it was my choice. I think you get that I really enjoyed that trip. But I thought and still think it gross stupidity to rely on the large ships at sea to avoid collission with me in a small sailboat.
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Old 05-09-2015, 22:42   #141
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Conachair - or stumble in the cabin and break two ribs - happenned to me while soloing to Hawaii. Enough duct tape (over a Tee shirt) makes a pretty good brace.
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Old 05-09-2015, 22:48   #142
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

"Its weird after reading all the comments.. how most the americans are all "your going to die" and my mates here in England.. are telling me "see you in Barbados" ...ha ha .."
You might want a translator and a statistician there, to give you some context.


In the UK it became mandatory for all driver to wear seat belts in 1983? 1985?
But there in the US, it is still voluntary in New Hampshire.


The difference is, in New Hamshire if you want to do something that may kill you, you are allowed and perhaps even encouraged to do so. That's got nothing to do with our national (or state) attitudes about engaging in unsafe behavior, or what unsafe behavior is.


It may just mean we're a bit more outspoken on some topics.


IN 1970, if you bumped into anyone on a London street corner, it was a race to see who could apologize first, regardless of fault. Today? Hahah.


Mistaking causality from other situations seems to be encouraged by all too many societies now.


Remember, you'll be safer if you don't carry any watches or chronometers on board. It can be quickly proven that carrying, or worse, wearing, a quartz watch greatly increases you chances of dying an automobile accidents and sinkings at sea. Why, just look, almost EVERY corpse was wearing one!


Causality? Or perhaps, something totally unrelated that you've mistakenly looked at?
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:56   #143
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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Maybe it's just my eyesight, but I don't think typical sailboat running lights are at all visible at the distance of the horizon.

I asked him to light his sails; he became very visible then of course, and appeared to be only two or three miles away.
Totally agree. Sailboat running lights are often too low, dim, and often obscured by waves.

When sailing at night, I will often shine a light on my main for a few moments now and then, for the benefit of anyone out there who might be looking. One time I did this, mid atlantic, knowing a big cat was nearby. He returned the favour, and I realized we were closer than I had thought.

My reaction was to hail on VHF16. This woke the skipper before I could transmit, and he insisted on radio silence, started the engine and powered away as fast as possible. His assumption was that the other boat was somehow a threat to us. My reaction was that maybe they needed our help...medicine, parts, skills, etc. We'll never know.

Other nights, its been so dark, that even the dimmest light could be seen for miles. Estimating distance to a light though, still remains difficult.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:33   #144
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pirate Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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I just read the Turnaround Phil and your clearly a character.

Did you turn your exploits into a longer story telling? A book or video etc? Looks like it would be intriguing reading.
Cheers Rustic..
Naah.. have not got the skills for that.. nor the desire.. just happy to post the odd anecdotes and occasional abuse on here..
Regarding a yachts running lights.. I thought it was common knowledge that range was limited to 2 miles.. in perfect visibility.
And when you remember the horizon is just over 3 miles away from the cockpit of the average small boat you should not be surprised your not seeing or being seen
The simple fact is they exist more for compliance than effectiveness once more than 5 miles from land and local shipping.
But really the onus is on the solo sailor to stay safe and keep the risk management personal.. don't be like everyone else expecting them to see you.. passing the buck don't work..


PS: One of the quirks/snags of the CE system.. you get the minimum acceptable standard set by the manufacturers and because of that CE you assume you have the best.. WRONG..
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:48   #145
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

With only a handful of open water crossings under my belt (Gulf of Mexico) I have much to learn still.

Today I have learned the visible horizon is only a few miles away from a sailboat's vantage point.

Previously I had thought it was about ten or twelve miles.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:09   #146
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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Today I have learned the visible horizon is only a few miles away from a sailboat's vantage point.

Previously I had thought it was about ten or twelve miles.
Distance to horizon depends on your height above the water.

Distance to the Horizon Calculator

And although you may not be able to see very far, your mast and sails can be seen from a greater distance.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:49   #147
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Thanks ham, looks like about 3.5 miles for my estimated height above water.

In the past when a buddy boat's stern began to slip below the curvature of the earth I have wrongly thought the distance would be six or eight miles.

I'll be recalibrating my distance estimates next time out.

Much appreciated.
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Old 06-09-2015, 19:32   #148
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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I asked him to light his sails; he became very visible then of course, and appeared to be only two or three miles away. Granted it's hard for me to judge distance on open water at night, but still nowhere near the distance of the horizon.

I have little confidence in the egg timer method for this reason.
Well, I hope you never have to sail in fog... :-)

I'd sooner take my chances grabbing 20 minute catnaps while singlehanding on a clear night offshore, than have to deal with the sort of pea soup you can find in New Engand or Atlantic Canada, no matter how many pairs of additional eyeballs might be aboard to help out...

;-)

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

If you can't or don't get one six-hour "great sleep" in every 24...the only valid excuse at any level for allowing that is "This is combat, we have no other choices."

Hmmm, I may have to re-think this whole solo sailing thing... Up until now, I always thought the rewards of making it to a place like Saglek Fiord, for example, was a "valid excuse" for having to deal with a bit of sleep deprivation along the way... Perhaps I should just stick to running 8 hour days on the ICW instead, just to be safe?

;-)





Come to think of it, I doubt I have EVER slept 6 hours straight on a boat on passage, no matter how fully crewed it was...

Damn, I don't even want to think of all the stuff I wouldn't have been able to do, places I might never have seen, had I been required to bank 6 hours of continuous sleep every single day... Not to mention, all the sailing I never would have done, had I been forced to enlist crew...

Just livin' on borrowed time, I suppose...

;-)
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Old 06-09-2015, 23:14   #149
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

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and appeared to be only two or three miles away. Granted it's hard for me to judge distance on open water at night, but still nowhere near the distance of the horizon.

With your eye 6 ft above sea level, the average when in most cockpits, the horizon is 3 miles away.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:25   #150
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Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

"I thought it was common knowledge that range was limited to 2 miles.. in perfect visibility.
And when you remember the horizon is just over 3 miles away from the cockpit of the average small boat "
Yes and no. Two miles is a legal requirement, but ask an infantry soldier how far away you can see a lit cigarette on a dark night. A good eye under good conditions (no background lights, dark sky) may spot something that dim most of a mile away. Running lights? Much further. Remember, good ones can and will exceed the COLREGS minimum standards.
As for the horizon being 3 miles away, sure, if you are looking for debris on the water. Which is why there are masthead lights. If your head is six feet above the water and a small sailboat has masthead nav lights 40 feet above the water? The distance goes up to TWELVE miles. The height of both the lights and the observer has to be accounted for, the horizon itself is not the issue.
VHF/UHF Line of Sight Distance Calculator
An online line-of-sight calculator link.


If those other running lights are only in the bow pulpit? They can still easily be seen from six miles away--if they're bright and unobstructed.


So "How far away is that light?" with no other clues? Well, if it is on a tanker eighty feet above waterline and moving at eighteen knots....(G)....
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