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Old 13-11-2014, 12:32   #16
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Stay out of shipping lanes and have a good night's sleep. The rest is easy. If you have to ask "how does one deal with being alone for so long, you probably shouldn't go. I've never gone out alone and looked forward to the end of the journey.
I learned a few years back that my sleep deprivation (cat napping) limit is 72 hours. After that I don't think at 100%. This was (foolishly) in a shipping lane where I also discovered that a freighter or cruise ship's lights on the horizon coming at me, cross paths with me within 15 minutes. As a minimalist, I did this without an alarm, radar or AIS. I only solo outside shipping lanes now and wouldn't do otherwise without radar or AIS. The risk vs. the cost isn't worth it.
Also, I take the slow easy route whenever possible. In a 34 foot sloop, I'd rather do 10 - 75 mile days than 5-150 mile days. Your body and boat will thank you. I have finished reading a few books while on solo sails.
I also take advantage of the full moon whenever possible. There's an additional psychological comfort level (for me) in being able to see the horizon. 5 days before and 5 days after the full moon are useful.
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Old 13-11-2014, 14:20   #17
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
Seems to me that doing a lookout every 4 hours is akin to doing none at all. Since you could be run down in 30 minutes or less, there's a big expanse of time where you'd be asleep.

That said I think the chances of being run down in the ocean are astronomically small. I have no evidence for this but it seems to be so.

I'd love to see a math person attack the chances.


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Sully, I'm not sure what a math person would say, but I think what some people are saying is that if you are going to sail for several days past 50 miles from shore that you are not taking that big of a chance of collision by less frequent watches. Do you think the risk is less or more than driving down a highway where there is a good chance that the drivers coming at you or behind you are texting, dialing a phone, answering a phone, reading papers, etc.?
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Old 13-11-2014, 16:54   #18
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

My longest solo was 5 1/2 days. I had a kitchen timer set with a long ring (essential) at 25 minutes. I'd go below and lie in the lee bunk with a sleeping mask on (think Zoro with no eye holes) and go directly to sleep. When the ringing started I would go into the cockpit and do two careful 360* scans. Then I'd check the boat. If all was OK, I'd go below and restart the drill. If there were boats or my boat needed adjustment, I'd take the necessary action.

After 5 days I can tell you that I could not reconcile Einstein's theory of Relativity with String Theory. But I could not do that on the 1st day either. One gets into a zone. But I was in busy waters. Outside of those conditions I go longer stretches for sleep. I believe that the Vendee Globe guys go about 4 hours. Now they have wind alarms and their autopilots are always directed by wind angle not compass course which is much safer.
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Old 13-11-2014, 20:05   #19
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

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Originally Posted by Roniszoro View Post
----I believe that the Vendee Globe guys go about 4 hours. ---- their autopilots are always directed by wind angle not compass course which is much safer.
Safer? I believe that's how Sir Francis Chichester's Gypsy Moth was destroyed, when the racer who had chartered her took a nap and the wind shifted. The boat followed the wind shift right onto the rocks.
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Old 13-11-2014, 20:56   #20
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

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Safer? I believe that's how Sir Francis Chichester's Gypsy Moth was destroyed, when the racer who had chartered her took a nap and the wind shifted. The boat followed the wind shift right onto the rocks.
Anyone who sleeps when they are solo and close enough to get near rocks inside a single "off' period is asking for trouble.
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Old 13-11-2014, 22:16   #21
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

After about three days, your body gets acclimated to the rhythm. Little bit of sleep every now and then. Oven timer is good idea, but as long as you sleep down below. Or if your cockpit has a bunk just as comfortable as below decks. The most important thing is getting solid 15 to 30 min deep sleep and going through REM. Get as much sleep as possible during the day because usually you'll need it during the night, besides Murphy mostly works during odd times.
AIS is a blessing, as long as you respect its limits. Set it at no less than 5nm range and no more than 1.5nm CPA.
For me 30 minutes works best fur me in good weather and 15 in rough going, and 1hr when I'm hove to(that is if I can actually fall asleep)...

After all, the more you do it the more you get used to it

Good luck
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Old 13-11-2014, 22:19   #22
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Oupps. Didn't mean to post twice. Apologies
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Old 13-11-2014, 22:26   #23
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

If you ever get tired when you're that close and you can't hand steer no more, throw out your anchor and pay it out based on your surrounding bottom topology. It will be a not so bad insurance policy (only when you are TIRED)
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Old 13-11-2014, 22:27   #24
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

I guess a good question to ask is how many times have you been on a collision course while offshore, outside the shipping lanes? Doesn't matter single handing or not, just get an average. I think I could average mine out to about one every thousand miles(I jump from one to two, but think one is most accurate). I'm in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic. The folks in the pacific and Indian ocean probably have higher numbers(? ). Might be a good poll question.

I've only been on a collision course with another sailing vessel once, the rest were ships.( offshore)
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Old 14-11-2014, 00:27   #25
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

I would have run into the side of a bulk carrier if I had not been on watch. But that was between Bermuda and New York, where the traffic was horrendous. It was also at 4 AM. There are so many shipping lanes leaving a major port like NY that it would be very dangerous to sleep anywhere near their vicinity. Totally different than farther out at sea. At least that is my theory. ______Grant.
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Old 14-11-2014, 11:24   #26
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Read here:

Singlehanded Sailing Society Forum

The Singlehanded Sailing Society in SF Bay runs the Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race from SF to Hanalei, Kauai, HI even years. The Forum is home to many such discussions.
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Old 15-11-2014, 03:22   #27
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

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Looking out and seeing nothing but people and houses would be a suicidal experience for me.





Coops.


...especially if you'd just woken up from a catnap in the cockpit!
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Old 15-11-2014, 05:07   #28
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Roniszoro.
You may have set the record for longest time between joining, and posting.
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Old 15-11-2014, 05:24   #29
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by achil View Post
Looking out and seeing nothing but ocean has to be a grueling experience.
Exactly the opposite....

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
There is a sense of peace that comes with being a very small dot on a vast ocean.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Z View Post
If you ever get tired when you're that close and you can't hand steer no more, throw out your anchor and pay it out based on your surrounding bottom topology. It will be a not so bad insurance policy (only when you are TIRED)
Wouldn't that be bottomology???

Quote:
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...especially if you'd just woken up from a catnap in the cockpit!
HAAAAAAAAA!!!

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Roniszoro.
You may have set the record for longest time between joining, and posting.
INDEED!
Good eye Gordo!
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Old 15-11-2014, 07:35   #30
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Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

You may want to download and read this.

http://sfbaysss.net/resource/doc/Sin...irdEdition.pdf
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