Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-11-2014, 15:18   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 65
Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

I have been reading in Sailing magazine about Dave Rearick's solo circumnavigation. I can only imagine what a feat this was. I am trying to get my mind around how he managed to have any kind of a regular watch and thought that some of you may have single-handed for for more than 72 hours straight and would have some insight. I also wonder how he dealt with being alone on the ocean for up to two months at a time. Looking out and seeing nothing but ocean has to be a grueling experience.
__________________

__________________
Pat.
achil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 17:09   #2
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: 6,003
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Have done a solo sail to Hawaii from SF and 5 figure miles double handed. Being at sea out of sight of land is anything but grueling. Enjoy being alone with the boat and sea and making them work together. There is a sense of peace that comes with being a very small dot on a vast ocean. There is the added benefit when sailing solo that conversation with the crew is always about something you are interested in.

Have never kept a watch schedule except within 50 miles or so of something hard and great circle shipping routes. In all the miles that I've sailed, have seen only there ships and they were well away and not a concern once offshore. Doubt very much a night watch would allow you to see an unlighted object. You'd be able to see most things in time to avoid them during the day but doubtful at night. Hopefully, at night the things that are lit are keeping a watch. The truth is, it's a big ocean and there just isn't much out there except along fixed routes. Normally keep watch and sleep on the bridge deck of the Pearson. It's a comfortable place to hang out even in bad weather with the dodger. Makes it easy to make quick searches around the horizon. My usual sleep pattern is regularly interrupted by wakeful periods which also lends itself to doing a quick look out.

As far as entertainment, seldom get bored at sea. Can't remember ever finishing a book on a passage. Always seems like something gets in the way of uninterrupted reading time. On our old boat, would sit for hours at the end of the bowsprit mesmerized by the passing sea and motion of the boat. In the old days before GPS, navigation took up a good part of the day. Getting ready to take a sextant shot, taking the shot, breaking it down and plotting it took a lot of time. In this world of GPS, navigation is just following the magenta line so leaves a lot more time that you need to fill. On the sail to Hawaii, had the Ham radio when I felt like turning it on. Kept a regular schedule with the Pacific Maritime Net but seldom used it except to post a daily email to my wife and download Gribs. Did start to keep a daily breakdown of the day on the computer but lost interest in doing that about midway through the voyage. Time involved in actually sailing is pretty limited. On the sail to Hawaii, it involved one jibe and replacing a pretzeled whisker pole. Of course the pole bent at 0300 on an overcast moonless night so did get the adrenaline flowing. After a bit of contemplation, figured out all I had to do was furl the headsail, detach the bent whisker pole, replace it with the spinnaker, unfurl the sail, and I was off and running again.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 19:02   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

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. There is the added benefit when sailing solo that conversation with the crew is always about something you are interested in.
----
Lol. Plus, the captain always gets to pick the music.
__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 19:25   #4
Registered User
 
GrowleyMonster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: 1976 Cal 2-27
Posts: 1,298
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Catnaps in the cockpit. I won't go below for sleep. If I go below it is to fix a bite to eat or get something or put some lead on a chart or something. Cockpit naps with a timer can be quite effective, ensuring that you take a look around you ever so often.

DONT assume that the bridge watch on a ship is aware of you unless you talk to him on the radio. Take that from someone who knows better.
__________________
GrowleyMonster
1976 Cal 2-27, MR WIGGLES
Now with clean, dependable electric propulsion!
GrowleyMonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 19:27   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Coops's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern NSW.Australia
Boat: Sunmaid 20, John Welsford Navigator
Posts: 9,550
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by achil View Post
I have been reading in Sailing magazine about Dave Rearick's solo circumnavigation. I can only imagine what a feat this was. I am trying to get my mind around how he managed to have any kind of a regular watch and thought that some of you may have single-handed for for more than 72 hours straight and would have some insight. I also wonder how he dealt with being alone on the ocean for up to two months at a time. Looking out and seeing nothing but ocean has to be a grueling experience.
Looking out and seeing nothing but people and houses would be a suicidal experience for me.

Coops.
__________________
When somebody told me that I was delusional, I almost fell off of my unicorn.
Coops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 20:04   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Fort lauderdale, FL
Boat: Boatless
Posts: 197
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Achil, walk on over to Alex Dorseys site The Minimalist Sailor | Brought to you by Project BlueSphere He bought a 28' Westsail in CT and made it all the way to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. Kind of goes into being alone for weeks on end. There is a video on his site that is well over an hour, and I am pretty sure it's a free watch. He's got a ton of stuff on the famous YouTube also.

I'm with Coops. I'm at the point where people, houses, and the constant "noise" are making me nuts!
__________________
fishin4bogey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 20:20   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kelowna , British Columbia
Boat: Corbin 39 Pilot House
Posts: 214
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

After cruising for three years with wife and children I had to sail solo from St Lucia to Venezuela , what a pleasure that was. So much room in the cockpit, so peaceful, no bickering , complaining etc, etc, etc,. Didn't realize how much sailing sole can be fun
__________________
henryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 23:04   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,432
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Pat, if you think you can keep watch single handed, you are fooling yourself. The human body wont function without proper rest, and that may vary from person to person, but nobody can function without some minimum of rest. Breaking it up into 15 minute naps is common among single handers (and I am not one of them) but I doubt that after a few days of that type of sleep, that you are really functional. I only saw one vessel between Mexico and the Marquesas, and 30 years later I discovered that I had been passing over the great circle route from Panama to Hawaii when I saw that vessel. Once away from shore, and shipping lanes you might as well get good sleep, since driving on a rainy highway is probably more dangerous than single handed sailing. I must say that a few years later, in the Atlantic I saw so much traffic that it scared me. It has to be safer now days with low cost radar with alarms, and AIS(both receive and transmite) but if you worry too much, you might as well stay home and drive the freeway every day. Life is a crap shoot. You take a roll and see what happens. ______Grant.
__________________
gjordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2014, 07:59   #9
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Have you read this one?

Do you keep a Constant Lookout?
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2014, 10:16   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 397
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

to some people its the voyage and not the destination.

sleep is no problem with an auto pilot connected through you lap top to a GPS. sleep anytime you want. leave the radar on with the alarm so if there are ships in the area, the alarm goes off. there is also another type of signal system that alerts you if you get painted by someone else's radar.

if you old like me your up every 4 hrs anyway so not much of a transit.

on my 6 Hawaii trips. we were 4 on 4 off 6 on 6 off through out the two week period. it becomes easier the longer you are out there

don't worry about hitting anything, chances are even if you were up on deck you wouldn't see it anyway
at night there is no point in staying on deck as unless its a full moon you cant see anything.
__________________
bsurvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2014, 11:52   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 65
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
Pat, if you think you can keep watch single handed, you are fooling yourself. The human body wont function without proper rest, and that may vary from person to person, but nobody can function without some minimum of rest. Breaking it up into 15 minute naps is common among single handers (and I am not one of them) but I doubt that after a few days of that type of sleep, that you are really functional._____Grant.
Grant, this is precisely my point. I am not a very experienced sailor and most of my sailing is done on inland lakes. However, I read elsewhere how important many sailors think the "watch" is. It just does not seem possible to do on a sail longer than 72 hours or so. This is why I asked the question, and I am appreciative of the honest answers I am getting.

Pat
__________________
Pat.
achil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2014, 11:56   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 65
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsurvey View Post
to some people its the voyage and not the destination.

sleep is no problem with an auto pilot connected through you lap top to a GPS. sleep anytime you want. leave the radar on with the alarm so if there are ships in the area, the alarm goes off. there is also another type of signal system that alerts you if you get painted by someone else's radar.

if you old like me your up every 4 hrs anyway so not much of a transit.
Bsurvey, I can relate to been up every 4 hours.
__________________
Pat.
achil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2014, 12:00   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 65
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Have you read this one?

Do you keep a Constant Lookout?
Stu, yes I have and it was just one of the reasons I posted. On a long single-handed journey there is no way that I can see a person doing a diligent watch without getting proper sleep - just my opinion.

Pat
__________________
Pat.
achil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2014, 12:03   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 534
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

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.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
sully75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2014, 12:16   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 65
Re: Circumnavigation Solo, and watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Have done a solo sail to Hawaii from SF and 5 figure miles double handed. Being at sea out of sight of land is anything but grueling. Enjoy being alone with the boat and sea and making them work together. There is a sense of peace that comes with being a very small dot on a vast ocean. There is the added benefit when sailing solo that conversation with the crew is always about something you are interested in.

Have never kept a watch schedule except within 50 miles or so of something hard and great circle shipping routes. In all the miles that I've sailed, have seen only there ships and they were well away and not a concern once offshore. Doubt very much a night watch would allow you to see an unlighted object. You'd be able to see most things in time to avoid them during the day but doubtful at night.

As far as entertainment, seldom get bored at sea. Can't remember ever finishing a book on a passage. Always seems like something gets in the way of uninterrupted reading time. On our old boat, would sit for hours at the end of the bowsprit mesmerized by the passing sea and motion of the boat.
Peter, thank you for your post. I understand where you get a sense of peace out on the ocean. I sometimes get the same feeling when I am out in the woods alone, away from everyone and everything. If you have a shortwave that can reach people that would be a Godsend I would think. While I do enjoy been alone, I also enjoy human contact. I would think 2 months would have me looking for that contact.

BTW what year is your Pearson? In a year or two if everything goes as planned I plan on buying a cruising boat and have been looking at Pearsons. So we don't change the subject you can contact me directly. Thanks

Pat
__________________

__________________
Pat.
achil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
circumnavigation, navigation

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
Solo Sailing Races (Circumnavigation and others) PhaseSpace Our Community 3 12-05-2014 11:17
Solo Circumnavigation - Hanse 630 or Hanse 540 oceanbluesail09 Monohull Sailboats 54 22-08-2013 14:46
s/v 'Flight of Years' Solo Circumnavigation stevelxls Cruising News & Events 95 25-11-2011 15:57
watch while solo martinworswick General Sailing Forum 8 11-11-2008 11:55
Solo Circumnavigation of Cat Wildrice Multihull Sailboats 15 19-12-2007 21:34



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:00.


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.