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Old 15-08-2013, 14:35   #181
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

maintaining night vision:

During an astronomy class, we rigged flashlights with some red cellophane over the lens to use while using the telescopes
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Old 15-08-2013, 14:55   #182
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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It comes back gradually and I'm sure it's different for every body but I'd guess ~30 minutes. Even just looking at illuminated instruments or the moon can screw you up.

A couple of minutes after the lights are off you can see decent enough, but picking up a faint red running light 10 miles off on the horizon is probably not going to happen for at least ~20 minutes.
This may be a problem for anything smaller than a ship. But at night most ships emit enough light they appear to be cities on the horizon. I've encountered ships with deck lights ablaze. The light negates any possibility of seeing the navigations lights. I've had to call them asking to please shut down the deck lights. Can't tell which way they're going.

But, seeing a light does not say much about it's distance from your position. I once saw a couple of small fishing boats passing parallel to my course about 2 n.m. away in the opposite direction. Ahead, I could see what I perceived to be another fishing boat a considerable distance away. To my surprise, looming out of the night came the ghostly shape of a fishing boat either at anchor or hove to - with a single white light showing. Made me think of how vulnerable I am when hove to with only a masthead anchor light showing. Hard to judge distance to a single light...
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Old 15-08-2013, 15:35   #183
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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.
So?

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Old 15-08-2013, 15:45   #184
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Most of the sailing icons, and really anyone who spends enough time on the water eventually (via circumstance), is singlehanding.

Joshua Slocum
Bernard Moitessier
Matt Rutherford (solo'd the Americas last year)
Jim Howard (long time sailor, author)

All incredible mariners with staggering sea time and experiences. Labeling them as idiots is a little much.
Tell it to the Hiscocks, the Dashews and the Pardeys. Berque brothers also confirm your point.

Labeling anybody as an idiot sure is.

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Old 15-08-2013, 15:47   #185
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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So?

b.
There is really nothing more important than they speak English. Otherwise, most of them are competent in their jobs.

There was a thread not long ago discussing a collision between two ships. Videos even. So, even between ships you'll find exceptions to the rule. Just like people who ply waters on sail boats.
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Old 15-08-2013, 16:12   #186
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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There is really nothing more important than they speak English. Otherwise, most of them are competent in their jobs.

There was a thread not long ago discussing a collision between two ships. Videos even. So, even between ships you'll find exceptions to the rule. Just like people who ply waters on sail boats.
I too wonder at times what they are trying to tell me in our intimate VHF tete-a-tete. I do not mind an odd accent as I am not a native speaker either. Still, somehow, I always imagine them babbling officers to be Indian.

;-)
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Old 15-08-2013, 18:26   #187
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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On either my first or second return trip from Key West to Boca Grande pass, I was on watch in the middle of the night (only 2on board) and saw a single small white light in the distance. I watched it carefully as it stayed in the same place on my rail- no radar on this 32 ft Tahiti Ketch, and determined we were on a collision course. I shifted course slightly to the west and in a few minutes private fishing boat, no one visible at either helm went by me at no more than 30 yards going about 20 knots. If I hadn't altered course, he would have hit us head on.

Whoever was in that boat was not aware of what was going on around him and never saw us. Made me realize that we all tend to travel similar courses, so someone going south from Boca Grande Pass to the north channel of Key West is very likely to be on the same or nearly same reciprocal course as you are. Point is if you are going north, someone else is probably going south on a similar course. Keep your head out in the cockpit and your radar and AIS alarms active. It might save your life! The sea is not nearly as empty as you might think.
That is why I don't follow that line. I go a good ways to one side or the other and let those with fancy, accurate equipment stick to "the line". It is safer outside the box.
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Old 15-08-2013, 18:38   #188
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Vessel with anchor down but not holding
I should have thought of that as my (ex) boat sailed too fast when hove to. 16 miles in 8 hours. If I had known I could have let out a bunch of anchor and gone slower.


And filled a guideline check box.
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Old 15-08-2013, 20:28   #189
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

Solves the problem of whether or not you should or should not display "vessel not under command" when hove to. Just hang the anchor down a few feet and you most certainly could claim "Vessel with anchor down but not holding".

I read somewhere that near collisions are becoming more prevalent because we are all using the same arrival and departure waypoints which are often published in cruising guides.
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Old 15-08-2013, 20:32   #190
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by niget2002 View Post
maintaining night vision:

During an astronomy class, we rigged flashlights with some red cellophane over the lens to use while using the telescopes
Red led headlamp (with adjustable tensity) and a Maglite with a red lens.

The Maglite with my rigging knive is a pouch attached to my inflatable harness.

The headlamp is always around my neck at night.
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Old 15-08-2013, 20:38   #191
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Now, can you please name some of the singlehanders who have been run down by a freighter... you imply that they are common, but I can't seem to remember very many.
text book case

https://www.casetext.com/case/granholm-v-tfl-exp/

I did hear of a freighter coming into Singapore with a mast wrapped around the bow. Might be an urban myth. We will never know how many crew.
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Old 15-08-2013, 20:40   #192
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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I read somewhere that near collisions are becoming more prevalent because we are all using the same arrival and departure waypoints which are often published in cruising guides.
If more collisions are indeed happening I'd speculate it's due to inexperienced people going to sea. I have never "plugged in a waypoint" and steered to it. I don't even think I know anyone who does that, but I'm sure there are a lot of dudes staring at the arrows on their chartplotters and considering that sufficient navigation.
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Old 15-08-2013, 21:30   #193
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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The parallel to singlehanding and Russian roulette is absurd.


To widdle this whole thing down to "singlehanders are less safe than fully crewed cruisers" would somehow suggest that there is clear empirical evidence to support that, which simply isn't the case.

For every singlehander on a beach you can point to, I'll point to another boat loaded with crew that did the exact same.
I'll have to disagree. If singlehanding has been shown to be no riskier than fully crewed, why is it so hard for singlehanders to get insurance??

I fully agree that not standing watches is a form of Russian roulette. The odds that you will have a collision at sea are not high, but they are not zero. In my own experience, there were three times I had to alter my stand-on course to prevent a collision when more than 50 miles offshore. If I hadn't changed course, I wouldn't be here to post this. Between 10 and 50 miles, its probably been over 50 times.

Since that's been over 100,000 sea miles, the odds aren't that high, but it keeps me and my crew scanning the horizon every 12 minutes offshore. Singlehanders just can't do this, and they have to accept the consequences.
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Old 15-08-2013, 21:50   #194
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

I am a bit of a neanderthal and don't have a chart plotter (Although I do admit to being in the process of connecting my OpenCPN computer up to my autopilot so that I can do what the chart plotter does) I plug the waypoints into an old Nav 5000D Magellan, press the "Track" button on the autopilot and let it do the steering.

I am a lazy old sod and after I run a course on a chart and "prove" it I ink in the track and the lats and longs on the sides and tops of the charts to reduce the chances of reading and transcription errors and use the waypoints over and over. Since a lot of other people are probably using the same or similarly positioned waypoints for voyages between the ports and anchorages it appears inevitable that one day I will run into some other lazy old sod who does the same.

This living and cruising a boat alternate lifestyle is the pits isn't it.

I used to be an offshore oil driller and built the boat 27 years ago and have lived permanently aboard since 2001 and consequently am as experienced as hell however if I do run into someone it will be because they were going to fast for me to dodge or I was not watching where I was going and nothing to do with inexperience.
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Old 15-08-2013, 22:08   #195
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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I'll have to disagree. If singlehanding has been shown to be no riskier than fully crewed, why is it so hard for singlehanders to get insurance??

I fully agree that not standing watches is a form of Russian roulette. The odds that you will have a collision at sea are not high, but they are not zero. In my own experience, there were three times I had to alter my stand-on course to prevent a collision when more than 50 miles offshore. If I hadn't changed course, I wouldn't be here to post this. Between 10 and 50 miles, its probably been over 50 times.

Since that's been over 100,000 sea miles, the odds aren't that high, but it keeps me and my crew scanning the horizon every 12 minutes offshore. Singlehanders just can't do this, and they have to accept the consequences.
Very well said...and we agree 100%, albeit with only a much more modest 20,000 sea miles here.
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