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Old 26-10-2013, 16:54   #46
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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It's tough. I was sailing back across the Gulf of Mexico a couple of years ago, and had the night watch by myself. It was pretty embarrassing when my relief had to wake me up. But, it happens.

I would have woke up eventually.
yes, but it could have been worse. The skipper of a Downeast 38 heading down to the baha ha ha last year fell asleep and ended up on the beach. The boat was destroyed by a storm before it could be salvaged. sad, but no life lost
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Old 26-10-2013, 17:42   #47
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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yes, but it could have been worse. The skipper of a Downeast 38 heading down to the baha ha ha last year fell asleep and ended up on the beach. The boat was destroyed by a storm before it could be salvaged. sad, but no life lost
Or way worse. A boat with a crew of four set an island off the Mexican Coast as a destination point on their autopilot. Apparently everyone fell asleep and the boat grounded on a very rocky shore. Everyone died. Got to be real careful what points you put in the A/P as you may get there.
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Old 26-10-2013, 17:53   #48
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

Remember the Colvin Pinky Schooner that washed up on Fire Island? Same thing all fell asleep.

I sail pretty desolate waters. Usually set a timer for 15 to. 30 minutes. Actually I set two, one for the first interval, one for twice that, rg 15 & 30. I try to be far enough off shore that if I miss the first timer I'll still be off shore on the second.

I've had an AP go bonkers and head for the beach, you need time to fix that stuff.

But last year I had a close call in daylight. I use the timer all day at times. Was fussin below, the timer was almost up when I heard a noise. It was a scalloper hauling back his gear, maybe 50 yards off. I was maybe 30 miles off shore, but on a bank.

So now I try to stay more vigilant unless off soundings.
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Old 26-10-2013, 17:59   #49
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

Here's another one: Solo circumnavigator extraordinaire Francis Joyon falls asleep and hits the rocks.

I used to sail with a guy who I discovered would regularly fall asleep during his watches. He had an extremely sensitive "wake up" ability should any conditions change, but that's not good enough for me. We're still friends, but I don't sail overnight with him any more.
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Old 26-10-2013, 18:10   #50
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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Or way worse. A boat with a crew of four set an island off the Mexican Coast as a destination point on their autopilot. Apparently everyone fell asleep and the boat grounded on a very rocky shore. Everyone died. Got to be real careful what points you put in the A/P as you may get there.
lots of cases like that. One that always sticks in my mind is a 65 foot powerboat with the auto pilot set heading for the islands and the watch decided to join the party, smack into the cliffs, several lives lost. Was maybe thirty years ago
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Old 26-10-2013, 18:24   #51
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

The 2 of us (husband and wife) have sailed for years , including at night. When we're sailing for a day or more the rule is 3 hrs on, 3hrs off. Has worked well, no collisions, just some moments you remember. That includes squalls and autopilot failures, all at night where the sleeping one had to wake up at night. That's hard to do but can be done. The longest period was 26 days, Mexico to Marquesas.

Going up to Alaska, the watch was supposed to look for debris. I will say the the smarter and more vigilant one would point out a log going by that I'd missed. It's impossible to see everything, so luck sometimes beats skill. We saw most of the logs and more importantly, all of the nets. We never moved on the Inland Passage at night.

I know people sail singlehanded, but I'd rather have someone to share the experience with. And it's easier to come to terms with one person.

Boris
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Old 26-10-2013, 18:27   #52
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

I singlehanded because for me it's that or nothing.

I find I relax more alone.
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Old 26-10-2013, 18:42   #53
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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I singlehanded because for me it's that or nothing.

I find I relax more alone.
I'm kinda in that boat. Wasn't always that way but just got tired of having to adjust schedules, do this or that to satisfy someone then often at the last minute they would cancel or just not show so I started doing by myself.
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Old 26-10-2013, 19:56   #54
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

Last year when we were moving down the coast of Central America, the debris in the water from baby carriages to 60 foot trees was incredible. We bumped into two large logs and a couple of other things we never identified. The rainy season down there washes all sorts of stuff into the water... We even started traveling 25-35 miles off shore to avoid it and still bumped into stuff.

Also From Mexico to Panama the only county that seemed to make their fisherman usd running lights was Costa Rica, which even had light sticks on their nets. We had a very near miss off the coast of Guatemala, when three guys in a Panga decided to take a nap between their sets on a moonless night. The Admiral saw them at the last second and turned, passing them close enough to see faces in the boat and say "Holla". We had the radar set at 3 miles and they never appeared on the screen.

From that point on, on moonless nights we ran the fog horn to wake these guys up.
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Old 26-10-2013, 20:03   #55
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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If you are sailing on blue ocean overnight or on an extended trip how to you keep lookout for other vessels/objects? I'm sure its even harder when you travel solo? Do you use radar or just go to sleep and pray?
Solo it's probably one of the biggest challenges, but it's also one of the most liberating things. Hard to explain. Some facts:

- Offshore your odds of collision are infinitesimally small.
- Reduce that further by the fact that even if you slept 8 hours a night, that's still 2/3 of the time you're awake and alert.
- Reduce it further with an AIS transponder and receiver.
- Reduce it further with a radar alarm and proactively scanning.
- Reduce it further by dropping the squelch on the VHF and cranking the volume.
- Reduce it further by having a decent radar signature.
- Reduce it further by avoiding shipping lanes.
- Reduce it further by checking any ferry schedules.
- Reduce it further by the fact that generally speaking, like on your vessel when singlehanding, most boats have an alert watch stander most of the time to avoid collision.

You can't eliminate risk, and there were four guys onboard when a Newport-to-Ensenada race boat crashed into the (charted) Coranado Islands off San Diego.

Whatever you do, just ease into it and over time develop a system that works for you.
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Old 26-10-2013, 20:05   #56
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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From that point on, on moonless nights we ran the fog horn to wake these guys up.
I might steal that idea. I try to stay out of the range of the pangas but that's hard to be successful at all the time.
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Old 26-10-2013, 21:06   #57
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Thumbs up Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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Last year when we were moving down the coast of Central America, the debris in the water from baby carriages to 60 foot trees was incredible. We bumped into two large logs and a couple of other things we never identified. The rainy season down there washes all sorts of stuff into the water... We even started traveling 25-35 miles off shore to avoid it and still bumped into stuff.

Also From Mexico to Panama the only county that seemed to make their fisherman usd running lights was Costa Rica, which even had light sticks on their nets. We had a very near miss off the coast of Guatemala, when three guys in a Panga decided to take a nap between their sets on a moonless night. The Admiral saw them at the last second and turned, passing them close enough to see faces in the boat and say "Holla". We had the radar set at 3 miles and they never appeared on the screen.

From that point on, on moonless nights we ran the fog horn to wake these guys up.
fog horn good idea
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Old 27-10-2013, 08:29   #58
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

pangas have nothing to be picked up on radar...no reflectors no metal.they are ghosts we need to watch out for as if we hit them they OWN us.
their range is incredible in distance and the ocean is theirs. not ours. be awake where they fish. i
i found 60 miles out was beyond their usual range.
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Old 27-10-2013, 18:27   #59
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

Offshore = off soundings

Then you are fairly safe from fishing boats.
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Old 27-10-2013, 19:23   #60
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Re: Question for those who sail at night or solo

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Offshore = off soundings

Then you are fairly safe from fishing boats.
The tuna fleet in the north east Pacific is many hundreds of miles from shore, where the depth is 2000+ fathoms. Of course these boats are lit up so you can see the glow beyond the horizon!
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