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Old 08-09-2010, 22:13   #16
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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
What's the better watch?

(A) Experienced skipper watching his eyelids with all the alarms set perfectly and an innate sense of ship and sea.

(B) Typical sailor aboard as crew, face down in a book, that won't notice a ship passing 200 yards away until it's pointed out.

Those few that follow all laws are stuck with (B).
How true this is and I know because I have been guilty of being "Sailor B" while "on watch". I have also taken crew along for short coastal hops when I could have easily single handed only to find everyone except me was sea sick and taking "help" was a huge mental drain that I could have done without. I'm all for responsible singlehanding if there is no other reasonable option. For me this means only leaving port when well rested and putting a lot of distance between the boat and land before I need my first snooze. Of course it needs to be well clear of shipping lanes (all freighters have Sailor B crew) and requires checking AIS and setting radar alarms before turning in. My current boat is not set up for it, but the next one certainly will be. I've read a lot written about single handing on this forum which sounds very politically correct (eg: I only sleep for 15 minutes) but which I suspect is probably not true in practice.
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Old 08-09-2010, 23:14   #17
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If you are asleep and not on watch, by my definition, you hit them.

I'd really like it if a single hander said "Yup. My bad. I knew the risks, I single handed, I was not on watch and I hit a ship."
Conversely, what about the experienced skipper’s or crew who are on watch and might as well be asleep? It is often not too easy to get an apology or thanks from these tortfeasors either. For instance, I was once working as a chef on a dinner cruise motor boat with nearly a couple of hundred passengers on board. We were cruising through the industrial part of the port and I wandered up the bridge for a chat with the Captain as was standard. I get up there and I could hear Harbour Control frantically over the VHF asking the boat in the channel to respond and change course immediately. Next minute I look up and point out to the Captain that the lights about 45 degrees above us were the navigation lights on the bow of a steamer and that I think we are the ones Harbour Control are trying to contact!

If I was the deckie on watch on a trawler the Skipper would have fair throttled me and I would probably- with good reason - been off the boat. Nevertheless, while I vaguely recollect the Captain saying something about being “a bit tired”, he Captain basically pretended nothing happened. Hardly a thankyou and later I was the one looking for another job. I think the old saying goes, “there are two sides to every story”. Pity one is often silenced, (but hopefully still alive!).


Sorry if my comment stirs a debate that has been covered a hundred times before. Still it really shows why unless I absolutely trust a crewmember (or even Skipper/Captain!) I would prefer to be at sea ALONE.
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Old 08-09-2010, 23:28   #18
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It wasn't his fault he was sailing so he had right of way....lol
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Old 08-09-2010, 23:49   #19
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As a singlerhandler I can give four or five examples where boats with four or five people on them, had freighters ran them down because nobody was on watch. Go figure!
We single handers are well aware of the dangers of our actions are are willing to take responsibility for those actions. After all if we screw up it's our fault.
One of he attractions of singlehandling is that I am totality responsible for everything I do and everything that happens to me.
You'll also note that singlehandlers rarely pass judgment on others for their choice
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Old 08-09-2010, 23:51   #20
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It wasn't his fault he was sailing so he had right of way....lol
The Port Authority along with the Cruising Yacht Club where I live published a really good little booklet about navigating pleasure craft in the harbour. From memory even sailing boats do not have absolute right of way. I would really have to find booklet to give an exact citation along with the accompanying regs. Nevertheless, it is interesting to read about the little leeway these steamers have due their displacement and the fine draught parameters in the narrow channel. That is, if you get too close they can neither stop nor turn!

Offshore is a totally different thing and I have mainly found the persons navigating the steamers will change course to avoid yachts and trawlers. Regardless, it would be very very dangerous to consider this a given rule!
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Old 09-09-2010, 00:00   #21
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I'm currently in Ensenada, Mexico and plan to sail down the coast of baja. I will be sailing single-handed and am wondering if I should try and make it in between anchorages during the day or stay off-shore and avoid land. I've talked to a number of people and the answers are split down the middle. Any advice or suggestions?
Stay offshore. There is not much to see on the way down and you would not want to get get caught on that lee shore. There is NOTHING for miles. You will also run out of supplies a lot quicker and nowhere to restock. I've done it several times up and down and found that stopping at Turtle Bay as the midway point but staying 50 to 100 miles off the coast was the safest and quickest.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:12   #22
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I was almost rundown by a cruise yacht of the coast of Ibiza, A large cruising yacht came from behind us on the same course and if we did not turn the boat she would have been above us in 10 seconds. After she passed us by we saw the guys on her drinking in the cockpit.
1. You need to avoid collision in any way possible, not meter who is the blame.
2. Never heard of boat insurance covering single handlers.

If you sleep and get hit, well its on you.

I would suggest - get a crew, it does not meter if they have experience, capable or knowledgeable, the insurance will more likely cover you.
Second advice, when you are a bit tiered, trim the sails and sleep in the cockpit and when the "crew" on watch, all they have to do is tell you if anything is a miss - if they see a boat on the horizon or if there is a change in course.
If you have a radar, set an alarm and use it.

If you cant find a crew, go for the many stops as possible options and enjoy your time in each stop.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:25   #23
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Conversely, what about the experienced skipper’s or crew who are on watch and might as well be asleep?

<snip>

Sorry if my comment stirs a debate that has been covered a hundred times before. Still it really shows why unless I absolutely trust a crewmember (or even Skipper/Captain!) I would prefer to be at sea ALONE.

This is the argument that drive me nuts.

If A is wrong and B is wrong then could A be right?

No - both A and B are wrong.

That's why when it goes to court there is almost always an apportionment of blame.

Not picking on you Shane but here's a hypothetical case.

Let's say you are single handed, below decks and asleep at night.

I am on watch on deck and am the stand on vessel. Call it port starboard crossing and we are both sailing.

I don't realize there is no one on deck and we collide. After the collision I see you emerge from below decks. I ascertain you are alone and you clearly were not on watch - that you were sleeping would be an assumption on my part.

You notice my position light was burned out.

We go to court and you claim I was not displaying proper lights and that I had opportunity to avoid. I claim you were not on watch.

If I were betting, the blame would be apportioned to both of us.

I get the one that I could have avoided the collision but I should not have had to.

I would be a pissed off puppy.

BTW - No problem with stirring debate. It's what we do around here.

A land based analogy I always laugh at it.

"Hey officer. Why are you giving me a parking ticket? That car is parked illegally too?"
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:10   #24
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
This is the argument that drive me nuts.

If A is wrong and B is wrong then could A be right?

No - both A and B are wrong.

That's why when it goes to court there is almost always an apportionment of blame.

Not picking on you Shane but here's a hypothetical case.

Let's say you are single handed, below decks and asleep at night.

I am on watch on deck and am the stand on vessel. Call it port starboard crossing and we are both sailing.

I don't realize there is no one on deck and we collide. After the collision I see you emerge from below decks. I ascertain you are alone and you clearly were not on watch - that you were sleeping would be an assumption on my part.

You notice my position light was burned out.

We go to court and you claim I was not displaying proper lights and that I had opportunity to avoid. I claim you were not on watch.

If I were betting, the blame would be apportioned to both of us.

I get the one that I could have avoided the collision but I should not have had to.

I would be a pissed off puppy.

BTW - No problem with stirring debate. It's what we do around here.

A land based analogy I always laugh at it.

"Hey officer. Why are you giving me a parking ticket? That car is parked illegally too?"
I am just wondering if you noticed the bits "I think the old saying goes, “there are two sides to every story” and "Sorry if my comment stirs a debate that has been covered a hundred times before"? As stated this was more an example of why I like to sail alone than merely an attempt to buy into a stale debate about single-handed sailor’s liability in offshore collisions. I am also considering if you read my subsequent post about how on my local harbour being under sail with any number of crew does not guarantee right of way. It continues to talk about despite steamers generally doing the right thing and avoiding yachts, I would be very very careful about relying on this obligation?

Anyway, I don't want to upset the moderators getting involved in all sorts of heated debates and bizarre tangential arguments. Last time that sort of stuff went on I got one of those official warnings permanently dumped on my profile. Wow, maybe expanding your logic this proves that moderators too can behave like parking officers? Not "picking" on anyone, but I posted the thread that caused the conflict after I took onboard a crew member - idiot - who caused me no end of drama.

By the way, applying a bit of legal knowledge I agree that, “If I were betting, the blame would be apportioned to both of us”. Regardless, this does not cure my phobias about arguing or taking on board people I do not know or trust; not that there is much difference between either. Another good reason to sail alone is you only get to argue with your own demons This can be a truly enlightening experience especially for those whose spirituality is being impeded by the superficial ego. (What a wonderfully esoteric little statement about single-handed sailing?)
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:28   #25
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I am just wondering if you noticed the bits "I think the old saying goes, “there are two sides to every story” and "Sorry if my comment stirs a debate that has been covered a hundred times before"?

<snip>


Yes I noticed - and seriously that wasn't really about you. Your post was just a convenient place to hang my story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurferShane View Post
Anyway, I don't want to upset the moderators getting involved in all sorts of heated debates and bizarre tangential arguments. Last time that sort of stuff went on I got one of those official warnings permanently dumped on my profile. Wow, maybe expanding your logic this proves that moderators too can behave like parking officers?
Shane - Please take my word for this. When moderators "participate" in threads we are just members. If I do something out of line hit the report button and I'll get spanked just like any one else.

We also have a rule that we don't moderate threads we are playing in - It's almost impossible to remain objective.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sorry if my example ruffled your feathers in any way. That wasn't my intent.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:46   #26
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I strongly suggest you hold off until you get some crew. daddle has given the possible stopping points, but some of those listed anchorages are really "iffy" if the weather and waves are the least bit big--some are barely anchorages and difficult to approach under calm circumstances. He also suggests that you stay "10-50 miles off shore"--While it would be nice to put this much distance between you and a lee shore, note that getting out that far and back in in a 24 hour period would take an enormous amount of travel time and will often prevent you from making the next anchorage in any reasonable time--alternative hugging this coast will require vigilance from a singlehander with lots of other things to do. The coastal traffic along here is not really in a defined traffic lane and you can run into tankers 30 miles offshore, you generally have some strong winds on a lee shore. By the way, hurricane season is not over yet and the leftover winds from them do get this far North--you will have trouble getting a reliable weather forecast for the time you need. I think most folks would not go for another month.

Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:06   #27
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Turtle Bay was an interesting stop. A very safe anachorage and a great introduction to Mexico without marinas and all the toursit crap.

Watch your weather and when a dust storm comes from the east, hang on! Thirty knot plus winds banging into the Pacific swell can ruin your day.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:31   #28
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I have sailed down the Baja twice, both times along the coast.The first time was pre gps,and had no radar onboard.Never had a problem.I would rather tuck in for some sleep at anchor than risk sleeping underway along that coast.Most days start around 5am to get to the next anchorage by dinner,(averaging 5 knots),usually about 40 to 60 miles.There are three legs that require an overnight run;Isla San Geronimo(off by 1/4 mile) to Isla Cedros(around Sacramento reef!),Abrejos to Bahia Santa Maria,and Mag. Bay to Cabo(the longest).Punta Colnett was the least protected,felt a bit like anchoring at sea,stopped there both times though,the last time it was blowing about 25 on approach.Lobster pots galore and fisboats are the main hazards.Navionics was almost perfect on Baja.North of Cedros is usually where the wind pipes up.Isla San Martin was calm as well as Geronimo by fish camp.Not sure about leaving this early though with the southerlys.Most anchorages protect only from prevailing NW wind.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:04   #29
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With a SSB you can tune into Don Andersons very informative weather report on the Amigo net.Signal gets better as you get further south.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:20   #30
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The traps that are deployed by local fisherman are not crab or lobster pots. They're fish traps made of bamboo or wood about 4 feet square and 2 feet deep. They're found through-out Central America and the Caribbean.
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