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Old 14-08-2013, 03:38   #106
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

Dear jackdale,

Lets throw in a hypothetical.

Lets assume that there are actually 3 people aboard and for dinner they had a meal of pelagic fish and it had ciguatera. We'll assume that before all of them became helpless one of them was able to heave the vessel to. All three of them are now helpless in their bunks. What lights and signals should they display?

It appears that the vessel is now not under command by way of a lack of competent crew and whilst this circumstance is not on you list it appears that it would justify signalling a "not under command" status for the vessel. If this is so the "not under command" status because the crew is too sleepy to safely work the vessel is also valid.
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Old 14-08-2013, 04:25   #107
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

They have a neat device that many commercial fishers use, it is called a "Watch Alarm" It has a count down clock that can be set for what ever interval you decide. If you do not hit the reset button in time, there is an ear splitting alarm that goes off, guaranteed to wake the dead or dead asleep. You can even lock it to prevent tampering. If it is mounted where the helmsman has to get up and walk over to it to reset it helps keep the blood flowing. One skipper I knew made the helm seat out of a 2x6 screwed to the bulk head, and if you fell asleep, you would fall off of it.
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Old 14-08-2013, 04:38   #108
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post

especially as in 2200 miles I saw only one ship... dunno where this busy shipping area comes from.. in 3 crossings grouped over 4 years I saw maybe 7 ships in total... night and day..
Yes... this may come as a surprise.. we spend time up top after dark.. drowse a bit.. star gaze a bit.. drowse some more then around 4am actually hit the sack till dawn.. I find that's when I kinda fold..
Something to do with Bio rhythms.. I call it.. feeling cold..
I'm thinking a nap during the day would be good for singlehanders maybe around 2pm and then another one around 3-4am depending on the circumstances.

It would then be your call whether or not to heave to or continue at possibly a reduced speed. I don't sleep that well at anchor (always getting up to check things since I'm usually near land in a strong tide) so these naps would be interrupted quite a bit.

Btw, that Chinese Tanker that Jessica Watson ran over was on autopilot at the time.........
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Old 14-08-2013, 04:41   #109
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I have been T-Boned 5 miles of the coast by a boat motor sailing at 6kts with 4 crew on board... they were all below having cheese and wine... I was drifting and down below making cheese and toast...
Conclusion... CHEESE IS DANGEROUS...
And yes... I do know the ColReg's...
Me Mum used to tell me that eating cheese would give you nightmares, so that should wake you up.
Disappointed to find out that this may not be true.
Cheese unlocks your wildest dreams, says study

So eat the stilton, but avoid cheshire
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Old 14-08-2013, 05:47   #110
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

THERE IS GREAT GEAR THAT WILL HELP SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.
We have been sailing and motoring ANGEL LOUISE as our only home as live-aboards for the last 6 years. We are now on the Portuguese Coast headed to London.

We always double hand on our passages. WE USE A WATCH COMMANDER. It is one of the best 10 pieces of much gear on the boat. We have used it for all six years. If the on watch crew does not push the OK button within the time period set indicating a scan of the horizon, it starts BEEPING a little louder than a kitchen timer for about a minute. THEN IT LETS OUT A SIREN ALARM of 130 DECIBELS +/- that EVERYONE ON THE BOAT WILL HEAR... If someone on watch is incapacitated, falls off or falls asleep, all on the boat know they will be advised shortly. Off watch we both sleep more soundly. We set ours for 15 minute periods on the open water. We love it. Makes the time pass faster. Also, when we are too sleepy to be alert, you know you can sleep that last five minutes after a look around as the BEEPER will rouse you, giving some peace of mind. In our talks to other cruisers at seminars or talks we always demo it and others tell me thanks later for alerting them to it, just as another cruiser did for us years ago! take a look at
Sail Safely - The Watch Commander passage timer
for details if interested... I have no connection with them.
Ed & Sue on ANGEL LOUISE
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Old 14-08-2013, 06:06   #111
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

When I was cruising, I also used a spring wound kitchen timer. I used a long ring one, not one that just went ding.

One time I was sailing and the timer went off. I woke up, and did a 360 check, and checked the sails. Everything looked good. I was about to go below for another 15 minutes, when I got a feeling something was not right.
I looked around again, and my dink I was towing, was alongside the boat!
Checked the knot meter, and sure enough I was aground in 48' of water.
Snagged a pot line between the keel and rudder. Only time for that.

Almost jumped in to get it free, before lowering sails!! Hey boat. Come back here!
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Old 14-08-2013, 06:22   #112
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pirate Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post

Btw, that Chinese Tanker that Jessica Watson ran over was on autopilot at the time.........
Just about every vessel is in open waters these days... the Hollywood image of the bridgedeck with the officer saying Port 10... and the guy at the wheel saying Port 10 Sir... 10 of Port wheel on Sir.. are long past... from memory as I can't be bothered to look it up her boat was seen and ignored on the basis most small vessels stay outa the way.. when action was taken it was an inadequate 5* to Stbd... then when it was to late another 5* was ordered... a possibly fatal collision was avoided but still a collision... I feel if he'd altered by 10* at the start she'd just have wallowed in his wake... but that's just my opinion... and I'm no expert..
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Old 14-08-2013, 06:35   #113
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

As a lifelong solo sailor, it is important to me at least, to maintain a comprehensive watch keeping schedule. Sleep discipline is possible when alone. Sleeping during the day is safer but still not for an hour or more.

A kitchen timer set for 15-20 minutes has served me well. It takes about 30 seconds to clear the horizon and then lay down for another stretch. Is this the same as a comfy two or three hour sleep? Of course not. It does, however, provide ample rest and your body adjusts to the intermittent "interruptions".




Quote:
Originally Posted by wkstar View Post
With AIS, Radar, Sonar, AutoPilot etc
With One or Two people onboard do people just lower the sails and go to sleep
Or do people still do 3 hours watch ?

It seems to me that if the sails are low and you are not in the middle of a shipping channel. Then you should be able to get some sleep

With the gear I mentioned above a LOUD Alarm should go off if something were to approach the boat?
I am not saying take your Valium , Rum & zonk out for 10 hours.
Youtube makes it seem That going on a passage is a 20+ day prisoner of war No sleep torture test

Sailing is suppose to be relaxing, but with no sleep after a few days , I would get a bit cranky
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Old 14-08-2013, 07:01   #114
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pirate Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by pcats1 View Post
As a lifelong solo sailor, it is important to me at least, to maintain a comprehensive watch keeping schedule. Sleep discipline is possible when alone. Sleeping during the day is safer but still not for an hour or more.

A kitchen timer set for 15-20 minutes has served me well. It takes about 30 seconds to clear the horizon and then lay down for another stretch. Is this the same as a comfy two or three hour sleep? Of course not. It does, however, provide ample rest and your body adjusts to the intermittent "interruptions".
Actually it takes a heavy toll on long voyages... Florida to Perth via Panama me + 1... I followed my usual routine... 4hrs sleep from 1am to 5am at sea... awake the rest of the time bar an occasional catnap in the day... often I'd be woken during the night... by the end of the trip I'd gone from 90kg down to 70kg... true there were many problems and stresses beyond the norm but it does take its toll...
Coasting where you can pull in and drop the hook or pull into a marina every couple of days when you feel a bit worn is something else... but a month at a time at sea... playing catch up.. it does take its toll and when you reach a port time is not spent laying on a beach.. its spent running around trying to get bits to fix the problems... and trying to second guess what's to come...
Soloing my boat is the opposite... its stress free and problem free...

PS: Something else I've noticed over the years is... what folk say in Port and what they actually do at sea is quite different.. lol
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Old 14-08-2013, 07:40   #115
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Just about every vessel is in open waters these days... the Hollywood image of the bridgedeck with the officer saying Port 10... and the guy at the wheel saying Port 10 Sir... 10 of Port wheel on Sir.. are long past... from memory as I can't be bothered to look it up her boat was seen and ignored on the basis most small vessels stay outa the way.. when action was taken it was an inadequate 5* to Stbd... then when it was to late another 5* was ordered... a possibly fatal collision was avoided but still a collision... I feel if he'd altered by 10* at the start she'd just have wallowed in his wake... but that's just my opinion... and I'm no expert..
This link shows her mast broken and gives some details. I guess she was 16 years old at the time:

http://yachtpals.com/jessica-watson-7021

More info:

http://yachtpals.com/jessica-watson-collision-7050

I cross the Thimble Shoal Channel here in the Chesapeake Bay regularly. (you have to draw 27' to use that channel) There was a ship coming in a couple weeks back pushin a 6' - 8' bow wave. He was rollin' .............maybe 12-15 knots.

I had crossed the channel well ahead of him but had to run parallel to the channel for a while (so I got a really good look at that wave and his speed) due to tugs return from a dredging operation. They were pulling some derrick looking structures and about a 800' - 1000' worth of pipe connecting it all together.
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Old 14-08-2013, 07:48   #116
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by pcats1 View Post
As a lifelong solo sailor, it is important to me at least, to maintain a comprehensive watch keeping schedule. Sleep discipline is possible when alone. Sleeping during the day is safer but still not for an hour or more.

A kitchen timer set for 15-20 minutes has served me well. It takes about 30 seconds to clear the horizon and then lay down for another stretch. Is this the same as a comfy two or three hour sleep? Of course not. It does, however, provide ample rest and your body adjusts to the intermittent "interruptions".
Several guys doing the SingleHanded Transpac Race from San Francisco to Hawaii use this method also...........but being racers they also make adjustments to the sails for best speed.
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Old 14-08-2013, 08:04   #117
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pirate Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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This link shows her mast broken and gives some details. I guess she was 16 years old at the time:

Jessica Watson - Youngest Round Hopeful Collides at Sea | YachtPals.com

More info:

Jessica Watson Collision Report Released | YachtPals.com

I cross the Thimble Shoal Channel here in the Chesapeake Bay regularly. (you have to draw 27' to use that channel) There was a ship coming in a couple weeks back pushin a 6' - 8' bow wave. He was rollin' .............maybe 12-15 knots.

I had crossed the channel well ahead of him but had to run parallel to the channel for a while (so I got a really good look at that wave and his speed) due to tugs return from a dredging operation. They were pulling some derrick looking structures and about a 800' - 1000' worth of pipe connecting it all together.
And I've been dodging back and forth across the busiest Marine Highway in the world since the 80's... if a boat can't ride an 8-10ft wave... get a better boat... Sorry.
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Old 14-08-2013, 08:23   #118
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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And I've been dodging back and forth across the busiest Marine Highway in the world since the 80's... if a boat can't ride an 8-10ft wave... get a better boat... Sorry.
Jeez, my fabric and aluminum frame 45lb 23" wide Cooper Folbot Kayak can ride that bow wave, I was talking about the speed of the ship in such tight confines. He just came over the tunnel 2 miles back and only had 5-6 miles to town.

http://www.folbot.com/Cooper_Kayak_p/cooper.htm
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Old 14-08-2013, 08:26   #119
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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The thing that tickles me is... last time I was in the Azores there were something like 270 odd boats came through during my 7 weeks in Horta... only 3 of us were single handing... kinda puts the 1 in 6 chance a bit more in perspective... especially as in 2200 miles I saw only one ship... dunno where this busy shipping area comes from.. in 3 crossings grouped over 4 years I saw maybe 7 ships in total... night and day..
Yes... this may come as a surprise.. we spend time up top after dark.. drowse a bit.. star gaze a bit.. drowse some more then around 4am actually hit the sack till dawn.. I find that's when I kinda fold..
Something to do with Bio rhythms.. I call it.. feeling cold..
Cold and sleepy seems to be the bane of most on the LP's & OP's between about 3 & 6 AM, or so. Seems like those nasty Sgt's always did their rounds at these times. I sure had my enjoyment scaring the **** out of some dozing off FNG at 4:AM after I ascended to Sgt..
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Old 14-08-2013, 08:32   #120
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Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

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Originally Posted by Angel Louise View Post
We always double hand on our passages. WE USE A WATCH COMMANDER. It is one of the best 10 pieces of much gear on the boat. We have used it for all six years. If the on watch crew does not push the OK button within the time period set indicating a scan of the horizon, it starts BEEPING a little louder than a kitchen timer for about a minute. THEN IT LETS OUT A SIREN ALARM of 130 DECIBELS +/- that EVERYONE ON THE BOAT WILL HEAR...
Some autopilots will do this as well.
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