Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-05-2015, 13:33   #76
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cruising Indian Ocean / Red Sea - home is Zimbabwe
Boat: V45
Posts: 1,282
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
It is like trying to drive cross-country and capnap while still on the Interstate at speed.


I have some experience with fatigue and sleep deprivation. The folks who say they can safely use an egg-timer or alarm and push on through, have been lucky and failed to read the many reports of vessels lost on the rocks and reefs by equally confident sailors. Some prominent and respected authors among them.


My personal best has been to get down from a bunk bed, remove a small keyed padlock on the alarm clock so it could be shut, then climb back into the (upper) bunk bed and go back to sleep. The padlock was there to make sure there was no way in hell the alarm could accidentally be shut. Ha.


Long distance solo sailing? Fine if it works for you. The last hundred years of research into sleep and fatigue study say everyone is different, but for the average or typical human, you MUST get one 6-hour "long sleep" every day, or your performance and mental acuity will degrade, whether you think so or not.


And drivers falling asleep at the wheel of their cars? Are now said to be very close to the number of drunk drivers killed every year. No recent change, except in reporting the incidents instead of sweeping them under the rug.
If we reacted to every article published we should all stop having children - nah, we should not even get married as the divorce rate......blah, blah, blah.
The egg timer takes a couple of nights to get into the groove, but then it becomes part of the routine. I have never solo sailed - I enjoy companionship too much for that. I used to do the entire night watch, from 21h00 thru' until 06h00 as my wife tended to the infants. I would usually enjoy a two hour nap after lunch, and on a longish passage was comfortable with the routine. Once the kids reached a certain age they enjoyed coming onto watch with me or my wife - also helped us no end. As Boatman61 posted, your senses also seem to develop to unusual circumstances. My wife was on watch one evening and something disturbed me enough to go on deck. Nothing to be seen or heard - then faintly, we both heard the surf, some minutes after I came on deck. We changed course and carried on...........an uncharted reef in the Red Sea, off the Eritrean coast (chart advised of these). However, the point is that we need not follow every article religiously. Anyone that has completed a dissertion / thesis knows and appreciates how easily any information can be manipulated into 'facts'.
__________________

__________________
Bulawayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 14:51   #77
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Bonifay, FL & Huntingdon, PA
Boat: Islander I-37, MS, Tradewind 32
Posts: 52
Images: 2
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Bulawayo & All,

Catnapping in a aircraft is commonplace with the second pilot flying, usually with the autopilot on. I forget the airline, it was a couple years ago when a airliner overflew it's destination. Both of the pilots were asleep and they the autopilot was flying the aircraft, Air Traffic Control (ATC) was calling then over & over again... No reply.

I flew with a WWII pilot (Pappy Schuman) in the PA National Guard in the 70's. He had flown B-24's out if England and had some great WWII war stories. I flew with him several times, some of the flights were cross countries. He'd be in the cat napping mode in short order after take off. His eyes would be closed during the flight and he appeared to be sound asleep.

After I had flown with him for several flights, I tried to surprise him. I wanted to land the aircraft, while he was still sleeping. I'd tried to be real smooth and started a small rate of decent for our arrival airport. I could never descend out of cruise altitude more than a few hundred feet before Ole Pappy Schuman was awake. I'd check him out (his eyes) and he'd smile back at me. He'd say, my eyes may be closed but I'm far from being asleep. I liked to fly with Pappy and polished my pilot skills with Pappy's Pilot Tips.

He was a navigating wizard. He'd look at wind effect on -- water, smoke, trees, etc. and be able to dial in a more accurate wind number as we flew on a long cross country. He'd make a 2 or 3 degree correction change enroute. We were always dead on our ground track with Pappy's small corrections. I'd use nav. fixes to verify my ground track. Pappy, pointed out, that some parts of the USA do not have low altitude reception or your navigation receiver may fail. Your first (primary) means of navigation as an Army pilot is a map, the map will never fail you.

I assume that this true with older salts.. where the chart is your first reference. I will say, I have been ruined with GPS Navigation Devices but still have my map there.

Avery
__________________

__________________
HighFly_27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 16:43   #78
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Phil. Bit of a thread drift but, There's an interesting podcast I hear once, maybe someone has a link, about a guy that recently navigated around the world using no electronics or navigation equipment. He navigated by the angle of the ground swells, angle of the surface currents and waves, sea and air temperatures, upper and lower level cloud types and directions, types of sea life and bird life closer to land and even calculated his approximate latitude by humidity when he heard a hatch squeak on it's rails that didn't normally squeak. He managed to hit his landfalls within 50M after crossing oceans. He was trying to tune into a lot of the old techniques sailors used before modern navigation (before the sextant) and found it possible. It's true modern navigation dulls the senses and often modern sailors are more tuned in to the chart plotter than the clouds. Good on you for staying tuned to your natural senses.

RC. Fortunately the colregs are black and white. I don't think there's any areas that are open for interpretation and yes that are rigid which is a good thing in my book. Rule 5 clearly says a proper watch should be maintained at all times (abbreviated) which doesn't mean all times except when napping or ducking below for a cuppa. They could be rewritten to include those phrases but then they just become useless. I've had a couple of very near misses with vessels not following the colregs so I'm all for sailors knowing and adhering to them as much as possible. In the case of solo sailors on long passages they can adhere to all except rule 5, which is good enough for me and I attempt the same when solo or fully crewed. I'd hate to see that rule enforced by law as some of the other rules currently are as it would mean the end of a long and beautiful chapter of sailing, forged by the likes of Slocum, Chichester, Mortissier, Taberly, Dumas et al.
that's funny. I knew that would be your interpretation.
__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 16:45   #79
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Ok, I'm going to take the hook.

Firstly, there is no requirement to keep a look out whilst anchored. I'd love to see a link to that decision so I could see the reasoning.

Secondly, and I know this one will bring on those who disagree with solo sailing, I don't believe it's a failure to follow the COLREGS or impossible to 'nap' and follow the COLREGS at all. That is a far to rigid and unreasonable reading of them.

I'm yet to begin my solo passages. I almost did my first solo a couple months ago but turned back with a mechanical problem.
I read rule 5 and it does say at all times and it does not list any exceptions. In the story I read the judge said it didn't have any exception for being at anchor just as the defense lawyer had argued. I didn't argue this, the lawyer did and the judge agreed. My statement was the inland rules and colregs were being treated as law by the courts and I simply provided an example. Also a friend of mine solo sailing in the Indian river near Melbourne, Fl went below to take a leak and a Florida Water Cop saw it. He was below for less than a minute, but got a ticket for not maintaining a watch. It was a $250 fine. He looked around before he went below and the water cop was nowhere in site so he may have seen the helm unmanned for only a few seconds but it was enough for the ticket.
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 17:02   #80
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Victoria, Canada
Boat: Olson 30
Posts: 148
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Life is full of risks, and those of us who take up singlehanded sailing are obviously willing to take those risks regardless of the legality of it all. We also drive 10mph over the speed limit on highways.

Those who are not willing to take those risks need not worry, we won't crash into you because you will have a constant watch and will turn before we hit you.
__________________
Nobody who has ever
written anything significant
Foolish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 17:19   #81
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I read rule 5 and it does say at all times and it does not list any exceptions. In the story I read the judge said it didn't have any exception for being at anchor just as the defense lawyer had argued. I didn't argue this, the lawyer did and the judge agreed. My statement was the inland rules and colregs were being treated as law by the courts and I simply provided an example. Also a friend of mine solo sailing in the Indian river near Melbourne, Fl went below to take a leak and a Florida Water Cop saw it. He was below for less than a minute, but got a ticket for not maintaining a watch. It was a $250 fine. He looked around before he went below and the water cop was nowhere in site so he may have seen the helm unmanned for only a few seconds but it was enough for the ticket.
Captain Bill, it is not my intent in any way to challenge your honesty, as I'm not. But when people post things like this without reference to the actual finding, I always later discover when the full story comes out that there is so much more to the actual situation.

Local jurisdictions make the Laws. They do so in reference to the COLREGS and can make extra rules around the COLREGS as the local legislators so choose. In your anchoring case, there had to be far more to the argument than you are explaining here. It is perfectly legally here to anchor your vessel and go ashore. Unless there is a law to the contrary (which in your case there might be).

In your second case, of the fine for not keeping a lookout, your account as provided is the evidence that the COLREGS were broken. He was on a river ? He was seen and approached in such a quick time? As is always the case, that 'below deck for just a few seconds' was most likely, given what you stated, 'minutes' in a river. I simply don't believe the cop would book him for seconds.

But, like I said to start with, there is 'always' more information to be had.
__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 17:39   #82
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
An acquaintance named Tom sailed from Seattle to the South Pacific and then here to Hilo single-handed. It was late when he saw the lights of Hilo and set his course for them and went below to fix a pot of tea. When he woke his boat was on the rocks and holed so badly that he had to abandon immediately. He was cut, bruised, and had some debilitating injuries when he made his way up the cliffs to the road. He spent a couple days in the hospital. His boat was done in and pilfered. His windvane system went one direction and all his sailing gear went another. He was able to retrieve an outboard that someone had retrieved and gave back to him. He got some of his important papers later and a firearm.

When he recounted his story to us at our club meeting one evening he cried when told of his boat, the systems on it and it's loss.
I have no idea of your point with this story, but as all loss of vessels are, it's a sad story.
__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 17:57   #83
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
that's funny. I knew that would be your interpretation.

I'll take that as a compliment, as opposed to unpredictable, which is not really the kind of Captain I particularly appreciate crossing paths with!
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 18:17   #84
Eternal Member

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 848
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Perhaps I've missed it, but I haven't seen any reference to the work of Dr. Claudio Stampi... He's the go-to guy when it comes to the polyphasic sleep routines of singlehanded sailors...

Miles to Go Before I Sleep | Outside Online

Stampi usually conducts a sleep seminar in Newport prior to the running of the Bermuda 1-2... For anyone new to solo sailing and sleep management, it might be well worth it... there are a number of YouTubes on polyphasic sleep worth checking out, as well, unfortunately dr Stampi's happens to be of rather poor audio quality, but still worth watching...

This is definitely NOT one of those "One Size Fits All" areas, but rather something highly individualistic, each one of us has to figure out what works best for us, which tends to be hugely dependent upon whether you are a 'Morning Person', or a 'Night Owl'...

Couple of things in response to what's already been noted...

No way would I ever trust a simple egg or kitchen timer ;-) The Watch Commander is the only way to go, for me... A decent and far less expensive alternative is some sort of trucker's high volume alarm clock, available from a variety of online sources specializing in stuff for truckers. I favor the ones that can also be plugged into a 12v cigarette outlet, the one I have will wake the dead...

Don't take too seriously the notion that there are still "Shipping Lanes" in the open ocean, today... With the sophisticated weather routing services that ships are relying on today, their routes can be highly variable offshore, and ships can be found pretty much everywhere, nowadays...

The first couple of days in any passage will usually be the most difficult, with the combination of being in coastal waters, and the greater likelihood of encountering other traffic, especially commercial fishing boats... But generally after 48 hours or so, I find I can fall into a polyphasic routine of napping that can work surprisingly well. I never cease to be amazed how many times after setting the alarm for 20 minutes, I snap back awake after 19:30...

Try to avoid napping during what Stampi calls "the forbidden zone" for most people, late afternoon to early evening in general... It tends to be counterproductive, out of whack with most humans' natural circadian rhythm...

Whenever in doubt, or when seriously nearing the degree of exhaustion that can really impair judgement or physical agility, don't be afraid to simply heave-to... As always, it's the magic tonic... Sailing solo at night in an area of squalls can be one of the most challenging and exhausting of scenarios, sometimes the smartest thing is to simply park the boat, put out a Securite' call, turn on spreader or foredeck lights if you want, and put some uninterrupted sleep in the bank...

Solo passagemaking can be one of the most fascinating and rewarding things you might ever do, Enjoy...
__________________
Jon Eisberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 18:31   #85
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Good point on the shipping lanes. This was somewhere mid Atlantic. All three were ships, all different directions. Another ship headed SE was actually headed up to Europe but heading down to avoid weather on the rhumb line which was NE. All within 10M of each other (and us)Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByCruisers Sailing Forum1430526629.140443.jpg
Views:	195
Size:	296.1 KB
ID:	101257
Jon the watch commander sounds good. Is there a trucker variety that works like a deadmans switch with a rolling adjustable timer?
Cheers
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 19:17   #86
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Pacific, currently in New Zealand
Boat: 30' racer cruiser
Posts: 21
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

I don't know of any sailor out there who can exist for days and weeks without proper sleep. I tried it and I certainly couldn't do it. Not even for 2 days. I couldn't hear the alarm anymore and I fell into a very deep sleep.

I realized that this was the real danger. If I go to sleep when I'm tired and not when I'm half dead I will somehow still stay 'connected'. Of course I can't see ships coming my way but if something changes and the boat needs attention I will wake up.

We all take a risk going out there doing what we do. Every singlehander knows that only too well. Besides that; who is a singlehander endangering with not keeping a proper lookout except himself and other singlehanders?

To hell with this rule 5 for singlehanders. Go to sleep when you're tired and trust you luck. That way you stay well rested and you can enjoy the passage. Isn't that what it's all about?
__________________
goingplaces is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 19:27   #87
Registered User
 
Exile's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Land of Disenchantment
Boat: Bristol 47.7
Posts: 2,961
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Really informative, helpful post, Jon -- thank you. The article was most valuable too, as well as encouraging.

Although I often seem to run into people who like to tell me my boat's too big to singlehand, it's set up really well for it and, like you mentioned, it's made for the most interesting, exciting, & rewarding times I've ever had on my boat. If anything, its size makes it more forgiving when single or short-handed (at least away from the dock, that is).

Been looking at the Watch Commander for awhile now but kinda disappointed it apparently isn't waterproof or at least water resistant (according to the website). Especially for the price tag. I guess it can go in a plastic bag under the dodger like how the developers say they do it.

Frankly my biggest concern with singlehanding any significant distance is loss of the AP. I've considered various backup systems, but also wonder if heaving to (easy with my boat) & resting might be a realistic & viable alternative should I lose my self-steering. It doesn't seem like you often read or hear about this option in the specific context of being forced to hand steer solo over long distances.
__________________
Exile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 12:09   #88
Eternal Member

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 848
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Jon the watch commander sounds good. Is there a trucker variety that works like a deadmans switch with a rolling adjustable timer?
Cheers
I'm not aware of any, but I never really looked... Not sure how useful that feature would be to a truck driver, since - most of them, anyway - don't intentionally take naps while driving... :-)

One other thing worth mentioning, sorry if it already has, and I've missed it...

Far and away, I think the riskiest situation for a solo sailor to grab some sleep, is when in inshore/coastal waters, WHILE RUNNING UNDER POWER, instead of under sail... You will be far less likely to be alerted to anything gone amiss, a change of course, whatever...

Jeanne Socrates learned that the hard way, less than 100 miles from the completion of her first attempt at a circumnavigation, when her autopilot remote failed, and turned her in towards the beach in Mexico while she was grabbing a 45 minute catnap while motoring in flat calm conditions...



I think it is far safer to sleep while under sail, chances are you'll be alerted to any change in conditions or heading far sooner, and of course your sensitivity to any noise will be much more acute...

When in coastal waters, however, I always favor running to an autopilot, instead of the vane... I'm pretty sure the risks of letting a vane do the driving, unattended, in inshore waters, are fairly well documented, by now... :-)

However, running to an autopilot is not without risk, as well... Particularly if you're using a Raymarine, in concert with an S100 remote... Some versions - and mine is one of them - can switch the pilot into Standby Mode, if the remote has been left turned on, but the 2 AAA batteries that power it go dead... No need to ask me how I know this ;-) I spoke to Raymarine about this years ago, but it's still unclear to me whether this potential problem has been fixed. I've spoken to others who have had their remotes go dead, without any ill effect on the pilot itself, so I believe there may have been some software upgrade instituted at some point... But mine is an early vintage, so I always have to take care to turn off the remote when in open water, which is a bit of a PITA, as the only way to do so is to either go to Standby for 3 minutes, or to open the back of the unit to unseat the batteries...

Also, whenever sleeping while running under power in calm conditions, I still think it's a good practice to have the main hoisted, if nothing else to serve as a good 'sensing device' for any change in course, wind direction or strength, and so on... Not to mention, you'll be a bit more visible at a distance to anyone else, at least during daylight...
__________________
Jon Eisberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 12:49   #89
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,002
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

There are four dead sailors who relied on their auto pilot to safely navigate around a hard object. Either they set an island as a way point or set the A/P on a heading then went to sleep. All drowned when they ran into a steep cliff shore with seas running.

Don't think an auto pilot is any better than a vane to steer when close to any shore. Coastal sailing is one time I'd consider heaving to and lowering 50' or more anchor rode, just in case, if I had to sleep.
__________________
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 15:53   #90
Senior Cruiser
 
jackdale's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 5,040
Images: 1
Re: Advice, How to Maintain Watch & Sail When Solo Thru 24 Hr's. (+) Time Periods ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by farm sail View Post
referencing the entire regs is extremely vague. that is like pointing to a bible when someone asks where it says "thou shall not kill"

how about quoting the line that you have interpreted to mean "you cannot sleep, even for a few minutes."
The case law

Granholm v. TFL EXP., 576 F. Supp. 435 (S.D.N.Y 1984) :: Justia

ColRegs

Rule 5 - Lookout Return to the top of the page

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.
__________________

__________________
ISPA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor Evaluator
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising Instructor
IYT Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor
ASA 201, 203,204, 205, 206, 214
As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)
jackdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sail

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
dropping anchor around nanaimo vancouver island for extended periods boatlife Liveaboard's Forum 0 21-07-2012 19:07
Dogs Aboard for Extended Periods? Jim Mc Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 15 18-09-2009 16:00
Logistics of leaving a boat for extended periods of time? scm007 General Sailing Forum 6 03-03-2009 07:32
Is idling an outboard for long periods bad for it? PatrickS Engines and Propulsion Systems 4 16-02-2009 07:58
watch while solo martinworswick General Sailing Forum 8 11-11-2008 11:55



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:31.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.