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Old 16-08-2011, 09:53   #46
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pirate Re: Single-Hander on Watch

Basically I thinkm you'll find everyone has their own level of risk acceptance... there's those who'll sleep soundly a few hours at a time... choosing their position for doing so... and others who'll burn themselves out through worry.... not counting the shades in between....
I do not advocate what I do.... I merely answer the question...
I go to bed and get a decent kip...
if weathers warm enough I'll crash in the cockpit...
don't carry ASI or anything other than MK1 eyeballs...
Tired folk make mistakes... get decent sleep and plan 'sleep zones' into your route... approaching shipping lanes in a few hrs... heave to on a favourable tack and rest up for 4hrs decent kip... it'll carry you to the next 'Zone'...
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Old 16-08-2011, 09:53   #47
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

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Please don't take general comments on an international forum personally, thanks
Then don't quote me and call it general comments...

and don't worry about hurting my feelings...you couldn't.
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Old 16-08-2011, 12:15   #48
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

Well, if someone buys me and AIS I'll sure use it!

That Westmarine one for $499 will be on my boat sometime soon.

The great wonder that is class B transponder is they can see us

As for the bit that some vessels don't have AIS, well I don't really give a stuff about some boat that small. All the can do is scrape the barnacles off the side. Its ships I worry about.
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Old 16-08-2011, 17:06   #49
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Re: Single Hander on watch

Trust we never meet in a real crisis!
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Old 16-08-2011, 17:35   #50
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

Thanks unicorn on your advice just bought a Screaming Meanine on EBay $23.83 Aussie! Bargain. Love buying stuff from the US at the moment the exchage rate is awesome. Regards Reid
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Old 16-08-2011, 18:20   #51
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forward looking sonar

Buy the radar and buy the best you can get, with a loud, audible alarm, set a guard zone, all around you, at 3 n-mile,or whatever suits the conditions, as big ships come up behind you, happened yesterday, and use the watchman mode, where the radar transmits every 5 mins for 30 secs, saves the magnetron!!?

Last night, the radar was picking up tiny fishing boats, without lights, that I could not see, one only had a fire going in the cockpit, they were cooking ikan goreng? Was only visible as I went past.

AIS, well, nobody uses it up here in Indonesia, I dont have it, perhaps I should, another distraction?

I use the PROBE, forward looking sonar a lot when in shallow water, looks 5X ahead for the depth, wonderful.

Cheers, surf looks awseome from the boat, better get out there!
Fair winds from Keith.
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Old 16-08-2011, 18:27   #52
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Well we have seen a lot of approaches to this. And some really good advice a few conflicts. All good where I am. Do not get sleep deprived. Sleep deprevation has brought on elephants, parrots and mental pygmies. I admitted depravation of sleep allowed that I could not follow a fairly clear bowie entrance. The conditions and boat are significant in choices. Coastal running the jersey shore is a great example. If you are shallow draft you can make inlets.deep draft limits options If your mid Atlantic it's very different.. Jersey coast you flash nap off shore you do not sleep. You would be an idiot to snooze off doing a run from cape may to sandy hook on a near coastal route. If you ran cape henlopen to block you can get out of the traffic and sleep short shift. Coastal you stay in the cockpit watch the ais maintain a very low energy output. Straight to block you clear the traffic lanes reduce energy output and sleep in short shifts. You watch the weather. I would prefer the straight to block in this scenario. Given the boat I have time constraints and forecast taken into consideration. The experienced have gone to advice like this: 1 never get sleep deprived manage energy levels at the onset. I can go for a very. Long time in a forced relax state.. Be rested this means be prepped up. Everything is in order run through scenarios, poplar outs, enloy. Check gear is good. Don't stick to a plan your sailing you could end up anywhere leave options open. Be familiar with those options. Some one could summarize this better then me. Never had the elephant on deck but screwed up years ago and sware Donald trump put pumpkins out for nav bouys outside Atlantic city october 30th 1992. Also solo sailing can pull a bunch of demons from your closet. This I think is the real elephant on deck. I have seen some real nut jobs get a makeover being offshore. Seen real peace come over others. I know no way of testing how one person will respond to being out there.the only thing I can d,o is relate an experience as others have.well travelled Others. I have learned what I can do. Sometimes I have endured and I wonder why I do this. At one point I thought my life was committed to a wave. The Cycle and slope the hand of another crew were my faith. If you have never been afraid on the water your exceptionally talented and born to it or an idiot that has stopped learning. If I were at total peace I would stop checking ****. Serenity is constant vigilance. Joy is enduring the uncomfortable and realizing the wonderful.
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Old 16-08-2011, 20:43   #53
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
After a few weeks alone offshore, with ais picking up every (few and far between) ship before you do, . . .
That is a very deadly assumption that is not true. Only ships that have their
AIS turned on and operating will show up on your AIS equipment. There are huge numbers of vessel out there that do not have AIS, especially 3rd world freighters, inter-island freighters and some who turn it off to keep from "wearing it out."
- - Your own eyes or active radar are reliable mechanisms for "seeing" all that is see-able out there.
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Old 16-08-2011, 20:53   #54
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

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. . . As for the bit that some vessels don't have AIS, well I don't really give a stuff about some boat that small. All the can do is scrape the barnacles off the side. Its ships I worry about.
Justly so, and a huge amount of inter-island and other vessels do not have AIS and they can sink you as easy as hitting the Queen Mary II. Look at the vessel in the Carenage - they don't have AIS and run day and night. Hitting or being hit by one of those will certainly do significant damage to your fiberglass egg-crate. The fast ferries also can take you out.
- - About every other of my dozen or so runs from Grenada to Trinidad at night we have encountered unlighted tugs with towed barges (also unlit) heading north and south. Again no AIS and no lights even. Which is why I run several miles east of the straight line from St Georges to Trinidad's Bocas.
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Old 16-08-2011, 21:16   #55
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

the sportfishers (40-70 FT POWER YACHTS USED FOR RECREATIONAL PRIVATE FISHING) --recreational type stinkpots that speed between san diego and cabo san lucas at night sans lights with no one at helm and no one watching as they speed over the seas at full throttle do not have ais. they can do much damage to a sailboat--managed to miss some of those in my various travels along coast san diego and south---- there is nothing like your own eyeballs and brain and reaction time while in cockpit on deck and above the below part of your cozy lil boat. closest we got to these during a tournament was within 10 ft and we didnt see it until damnnear too late. i heard the engines but couldnt tell how far, what direction or where the thing was --we were damlucky. we were both in cockpit looking for it. try that while asleep below decks. the object of cruising is to keep your home and self alive and afloat.
no i do not go below EVER when on watch to sleep soundly. i will doze in cockpit lightly, if i am tired beyond ability to remain awake for my watch. doesnt matter if solo or short handed.
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Old 16-08-2011, 22:51   #56
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Justly so, and a huge amount of inter-island and other vessels do not have AIS and they can sink you as easy as hitting the Queen Mary II. Look at the vessel in the Carenage - they don't have AIS and run day and night. Hitting or being hit by one of those will certainly do significant damage to your fiberglass egg-crate. The fast ferries also can take you out.
- - About every other of my dozen or so runs from Grenada to Trinidad at night we have encountered unlighted tugs with towed barges (also unlit) heading north and south. Again no AIS and no lights even. Which is why I run several miles east of the straight line from St Georges to Trinidad's Bocas.
Very true as many coastal fisherman and frieghters around third world countries believe that its their country so they have the right of way. Colregs be damned.

On the crossing from Granada to Trinidad you also cross a major shipping lane between Brazil and Panama where I've seen as many as eight large vessels on my radar, so keep a sharp lookout.

Osirissail do you go on the east or west side of the two large gas platforms?
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Old 17-08-2011, 00:57   #57
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
That is a very deadly assumption that is not true. Only ships that have their
AIS turned on and operating will show up on your AIS equipment. There are huge numbers of vessel out there that do not have AIS, especially 3rd world freighters, inter-island freighters and some who turn it off to keep from "wearing it out."
- - Your own eyes or active radar are reliable mechanisms for "seeing" all that is see-able out there.
Think we are talking about 2 different things here. i would call all that coastal, very different ball game. Not one I'm too fond of solo, especially at night, very stressful.
I just checked the log for a passage last year between Antigua & Azores, once offshore 5 ships seen in 32 days. And i was actually awake and keeping a good eye on things for quite a lot of that Get well off the shelf and away from nasty land where it's so busy and things are different. Offshore i can only remember seeing one ship not transmitting AIS, that was between Senigal and cape Verdes, part of the world where you would be paying close attention anyway.
Yachts, i hardly see any , not after a day or so out anyway. Radar seems to pick up any so far. One thing not to do is use any published waypoints, you might just end up in the same spot of ocean as everyone else staring stressfully at a gps rhum line miles from anywhere. I don't bother with routes at all now, point the boat in roughly the right direction and let her find her happiest course. Maybe up or down a bit as weather systems come and go.

Making sure you have a good radar return would be well up my list as well for offshore. My boat is steel and any big boys offshore I've radioed up have had me on radar for 10/15 miles, on a grp boat it might be wise to check your return somehow.

All this talk makes me miss it!!!! Days on end just you and the boat, as that joke about the signpost goes, just you and your crazy thoughts for the next umpteen miles
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Old 17-08-2011, 01:42   #58
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

So far I've only done coastal sailing, some single handing, some on fully crewed boats. All I know is I feel a lot safer by myself managing my own fatigue levels than when, on a fully crewed boat, I come up for my watch and the previous watch is nodding off and may as well have been tucked up in bed.

Also, I find it's odd how after all the fuss of getting ready for a trip, after only a couple of hours when the pressure is off, I sometimes start to feel tired seemingly for no reason. So I have a couple of 15 minute naps & it revives me 100%. I'd rather do that and not let myself get tired in the first place. I'll let you other guys do 36 hours straight.

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Old 17-08-2011, 07:04   #59
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

John A - my most successful strategy is to head right for the Gas rig and pass within a mile of it which puts you about 4nm east of the direct line from Grenada to Trinidad's Bocas de Monas. I did this for two reasons, first the pirates don't get too close to the gas rigs as they get reported on the radio and secondly, there is a lot of gas exploration ships running patterns just west of the gas rig looking for new well sites. The exploration ships tow 2 km long cables with a lot of TNT at the end which they explode to get a seismic sounding. Getting blown out of the water is not one of my favorite things.

- - Conachair - you pre-empted my thoughts - there is a whole world of difference in being in a high traffic area and being out in the middle of nowhere. The watch keeping strategy is quite different for each.
- - Coastal or inter-island is rarely more than a day run or an overnight run. While open ocean runs are Multi-day/weeks. Each has different levels of exposure.
- - Inter-island or offshore coastal runs I plan based on the proper arrival ETA at my intended destination. So I may not set sail until late afternoon or evening if my planned arrival time is early morning. So I get a lot of sleep in the previous afternoons before I haul anchor to get me acclimated to staying up at night. This is a strategy I had to use for years when flying airliners across the Atlantic.
- - But with open ocean sailing it is usual that sailboats follow the wind/current routes while commercial freighters go straight (great circle) to minimize time/distance. So except where the two types of routes cross it would be rare to encounter big vessel traffic.
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Old 17-08-2011, 07:54   #60
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Re: Single-Hander on Watch

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No worries. I'm anchored in Oyster Bay and preparing to singlehanded down south right now.
Have fun with it. I really do find it enjoyable.
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