Originally Posted by Blue Crab
The biggest issue in solo sailing is watchkeeping. If MarkJ is reading, I'm curious as to his method, and especially how many contacts he had after leaving Beaufort just a couple of weeks ago.
I have 2 timers. I set them both for th same time and sometimes an alarm
clock for backup set at 1 hour.
When theres traffic about I set the timers at 20 minutes. The AIS alarm
normally is set to 20 minutes .98nm CPA but I changed that to 30 minutes 1.98nms in the deep ocean.
The timers get extended to 30 minutes when I haven't seen a ship for ages, and if I think its safe I will do a 1 hour sleep at dawn if I haven't seen a ship for some days.
The 20, 30 mins just takes a little time to train into and its quite easy for me because I haven't gotten into REM (deep) sleep yet, so I bounce up, have a quick scan outside and quick look at the AIS
and hit the buttons again and go back to sleep.
If theres a ship I will either stay awake or take a 10 min nap depending on the situation.
On this trip there was the normal traffic on the coast side of the Gulf. A few ships in the GS itself and none, nothing, nada on the outside of the stream.
When you do see a ship there is likely to be more because they are going SOMEWHERE and it will likely be on a shipping route
. One example is on the route
to New Providence Channel, Bahamas
, there is a steady stream of ships in a 5 mile wide (aprox) band. So even though I was 600nms east of the Bahamas
all of a sudden I saw 10 ships in 6 hours on AIS (all too far off to effectively see lights).
But when theres nothing there really is nothing.
Only other point is that EVERY vessel from the moment I left Beaufort had AIS. EVERY VESSEL! I know everyone will tell me I am wrong and American flying ducks with weird colors don't have AIS but that's just total crap. There were NO VESSLS WITHOUT AIS ON. Even fishing
vessels. Even Navy
vessels. That doesn't mean you stop looking for them, it just means that people who influence people not to buy AIS because no boats use ais are total bs.
Originally Posted by Exile
You mentioned all upwind. Did you take the "thorny path," or head across the stream from Beaufort & then down "I-64"? Not exactly sure, but I thought a strong point of your particular Bene was its good upwind capability. And yes, Mark was just in NYC
as I recall
for the summer, and before that the Carib again last winter -- all singlehanded passages I believe, and sometimes with video!
No, it wasn't the Thorny Path. its the route as described by Jimmy Cornel. Head out to due north of your destination
(65w for BVIs or 63.5w for me)n so you intersect 65w at 25S which is the line the Trade
Winds kick in.
I was upwind all the way but not working to windward. ie I was close hauled or one ump off close hauled but not tacking to windward. than g because I did that last time when I went out from the Bahamas. The whole idea of leaving from Beaufort or further north is you don't have to tack to windward.
I didn't do a video tis time because the funny
idea I as thinking up didn't quite work so I didn't video it
Originally Posted by reed1v
Biggest issue is when to poop, and where. Not a good idea to do it off the stern, even if your strapped in. Cant go forward to the head while in lots of traffic. And so on. Need a cockpit
Poop and piddle ONLY in the bathrooms otherwise known as heads. Never, ever, ever piddle or poop over the side.
There is always time to go below unless you are in a channel when you might just have to hold on until you get a clear space.
Generally I feel that if its that busy you cant go below to the heads or check the computer you must be doing something wrong.
General advice: what I did right that should be noted:
Just a few minutes ago I got a Facebook post from someone mid-Atlantic (ARC Canaries
surfing down waves at 13 knots in a 45 footish monohull
. That's CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I sail my boat at under hull speed
. so my hull speed
is 7.96 kts. If I start averaging 8 kts and surfing t 9 kts I reef the damn floppy bits and pull it back to 7 or 7.5 and surfing to say 8.5.
Because stressing the boat leads to breakages. for a solo sailor that's danger
red flag no-no. So I did uphill into 25knots for days and broke nothing. that's why I averaged about 120nms per day and took 10 days to do this route. that 5 knot average. I don't stress the boat! I don't stress me. I don't endanger my boat -> I don't endanger me.
So theres a big circle: If I am not relaxed on passage I will get tired and sleep through my timers and alarms. So I keep relaxed in everything and stay alive.
And I hope that's the way I will continue
To be alive and happy and I don't give a rats bum if I am a week longer doing it than anyone else because I have an extra week of being in the best place on earth: At Sea!