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Old 15-08-2013, 05:46   #151
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Nigel, if you plan to listen to this advice make sure you remember to display two vertical red lights at night and two back balls (not yours LOL) during the day .
Red over red, the Captain is dead..... yup 10 days with a 19yo would do it

My boat has few electronic goodies. My sounder is a simple two digit readout (and a lead line as a back-up), no RADAR, no AIS, no Plotter (well to be fair, my iPad is sort of like a plotter), Hell, I don't even own an EPIRB!

FWIW, on a long solo (I call anything over 24 hrs as long when solo), I heave-to/anchor on the same sleep schedule as on land... I sleep when tired!

If I have one extra person, we do 4hr watches, but sleep in the cockpit at night...tethered (even in benign weather)

3 or more crew is 4 on / 6 off with one of the "off" crew awake at all times in the dark..... we usually do this by sleeping 4 of the 6 off hours. Of course all the above require mandatory log entries at 15 minute intervals with position.

The older I get, the less attractive overnight passages are to me!
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Old 15-08-2013, 05:50   #152
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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you need to advertise for a 19 year old........the girlfriend need never know

She does now.

Last time I was over in Douglas, I noticed a couple of young ladies taking pictures of the boat. I waved them over and asked if they wanted to take a look around. They jumped at the chance, but asked if their mates could take a look, and 2 minutes later, 15 young ladies onboard. Turned out they were all art students on a day out.
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Old 15-08-2013, 05:56   #153
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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She does now.

Last time I was over in Douglas, I noticed a couple of young ladies taking pictures of the boat. I waved them over and asked if they wanted to take a look around. They jumped at the chance, but asked if their mates could take a look, and 2 minutes later, 15 young ladies onboard. Turned out they were all art students on a day out.
who needs a porche when you gotta yot
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Old 15-08-2013, 06:38   #154
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
While on watch is far safer to simply pay attention to the task in hand rather than reading or listening to music or talking books. After some time cruising most people get into a far more relaxed mode and find they are perfectly content to just contemplate the sea and sky and boat rather than needing to be otherwise entertained.

During the day I think it is fine to read and look up every page if you are disciplined enough to do this (at night it is not recommended as it disturbs your night vision). Music at any time though simply means you miss out on useful audio cue both regarding the surroundings and your boat itself .

IF one finds music so distracting that they can't scan the horizon then they should be neither driving nor sailing.

What I personally have found is that listening to my IPOD makes the tedious part of sailing extremely enjoyable. If listening to music were dangerous, then Ralph Nader would have forced radios out of cars long ago. I personally find that my IPOD helps fight "helm fatigue." That's crucial when you're by yourself. I also sing quite freely when out and away from traffic and have polished up more than one solo performance on a long sail where things to concern oneself with are few.

I did say something like "conditions permitting." I don't have my IPOD playing in my ear in a congested area, and I'm pretty certain I mentioned that.

I think the notion that MP3's are a hazard on watch is absurd when there's nothing to hear. Would I do it in fog? No. Would I do it negotiating a new, tricky channel? No. Would I have it playing when I needed to be communicating with other crew? No. I'm sure there's something else I haven't listed but this isn't a final exam. It's just a conversation.

Helm fatigue is a very real problem on a long trip. I would use my IPOD on the open ocean and would encourage my crew to do so on their shifts unless conditions deteriorate. Most people really enjoy some kind of music, and I certainly have found music to help me stay awake at the wheel of a car on a long drive.

You don't have to agree, but I think your list is so restrictive (meaning specifically MP3's) that your caution there may have unintended negative consequences.

If you're on my boat, you leave your MP3 below -- PLEASE -- if you can't spot big freighters while listening to music.

But having had it on many times when freighters or other vessels first appeared -- for myself I'm not concerned.

And, by the way, unless you're playing the thing ridiculously loud (which will make you deaf over time and create a different problem) you can hear the radio come to life while listening to music.

The CIA also uses stimulus deprivation as a torture, you know. Read up on how the brain manages the onslaught of sights and information that come in while we're driving. You'll find that the BRAIN causes the important things to jump to the forefront. One reason new drivers have lots of accidents is that their brains have to learn what is and isn't important so they can spot trouble early.
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Old 15-08-2013, 06:53   #155
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

when one has earbuds in place and music nicely blaring thru them, that soul is not able to hear the nuances of the engine nor is that person able to hear other lovely bits like hoses blowing out, sails tearing, and whooshing sounds one should be able to hear when sailing in the ocean.
but then that could be a good thing for some souls......
on the other hand, that same soul will not hear the singing of the whales, either, nor the other lovely sounds of the ocean.....

nor, if shorthanding, the voice of the other individual on board calling them to watch...

earbuds and personal music are one way to effectively cut off communication between 2 individuals.
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Old 15-08-2013, 07:58   #156
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Sorry i should have mentioned that i will having every light on that i have including a strobe that i can maintain overnight and not flatten the batteries overnight.
A strobe is a distress signal.

Please don't be one of those people who decides that in order to be safer you think deviating from the internationally agreed upon lighting system is somehow safer.

With a strobe it is entirely probable that you will attract vessels.

Light your vessel up appropriately as per the regulations.
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:20   #157
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Sorry i should have mentioned that i will having every light on that i have including a strobe that i can maintain overnight and not flatten the batteries overnight.
You should not mention that. That would make you illegal. The masthead / steaming light cannot be used if you are a sailing vessel. The strobe has been mentioned already as a distress signal. The deck lights will mess with your night vision.
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:23   #158
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Nigel, if you plan to listen to this advice make sure you remember to display two vertical red lights at night and two back balls (not yours LOL) during the day .
In an earlier thread I think it was agreed that this was the appropriate day shape.

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Old 15-08-2013, 08:52   #159
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I think the notion that MP3's are a hazard on watch is absurd when there's nothing to hear.

Sound is one of the senses that alerts us to developing problems on a boats.
Most sailors develop a keen ear for what are the normal sounds emitted by their boat. A change in sound warrants investigation. This is true whether motoring or sailing.

As a simple example just recently the gooseneck developed an odd noise.
An investigation showed a nyloc nut had come off the in boom furling mechanism.
Another example was a clang on deck that proved to be a bolt falling out of a batten pocket receiver.
Most sailors could tell many similar tales of faults that were picked up on sound alone.

This does not exclude all music, or talking books, but when playing these you need to weigh up the diminished response of your second most important sense when sailing. This is particularly the case when using headphones, especially with music that has fewer pauses than the spoken word.

Sailing is like driving a great sports car the sound part of the experience.
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Old 15-08-2013, 09:16   #160
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
what i'm really pissed off about is all the abandoned yachts crossing oceans with nobody on watch.......or onboard.............
Sailboat being abandoned, mid-Pacific between Hawaii and California, January 2003:

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Old 15-08-2013, 09:17   #161
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

I do not listen to anything on watch except the sounds of the sea, the boat, the rigging, and I listen for anomalies. I'll leave the cockpit and walk around the decks if I am feeling sleepy. If this were not my practice, I wouldn't have heard the nylock on the gooseneck fall off and go "click" on the deck. The problem was dealt with, as one does. The point is, for me, being on watch is a process of trying to be aware of everything. That is the time when I have sole responsibility for the welfare of the vessel and crew.

Noelex brought up something quite important, preserving night vision. In fact, when I go below, if I have to use the head or whatever, I close my eye that has the best distance vision. I try to remember to keep it closed till I am back abovedecks. That eye will retain its night vision. To me this is useful. I read about doing it in a study of night vision and pilots.

FWIW

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Old 15-08-2013, 09:27   #162
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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All ships except cruise liners are manned by Chinese, Philippines, Belarusians, Indians, Pakistanis etc.
It's obvious you haven't been on a cruise ship.

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Old 15-08-2013, 09:27   #163
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In the US Navy we did the "shut one eye" thing when you needed to turn on a light right quick.

Also learned to look ~5 degrees away from any light source on the horizon to see it better.
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Old 15-08-2013, 09:37   #164
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

Close your eyes lightly, count to 15 slowly, Then open your eyes, You can see in the dark,

You can also see into a Furnace running at 2000 Degrees Celcius Clearly, I learnt that during my apprenticeship as a Blacksmith working out of big furnaces, I want to see if my job is hot enough to Forge yet,
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Old 15-08-2013, 09:42   #165
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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If its OK with everyone here, I'll be single handed sailing for 10 days as from next Monday.
Enjoy it
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