I just returned from a solo passage
and back. I would take a careful tour of the deck
an hour before dark and pay special attention to the standing and running rigging
. This insured that I was confident there were no unnoticed issues when darkness fell. Usually around 11:00pm local time I would scan my horizon with the radar
range set on 24 miles, turn the radar
off, and head
below for a nap. I would leave my AIS
on and at the maximum range setting, 10 miles, at all times. I then set an alarm
for 60 to 90 minute intervals. When the alarm
went off I'd get up on deck
to visually scan the horizon and use the spotlight to quickly check the standing and running rigging
. I would then make any required course adjustments, take another 24 mile radar scan and return to bed
to begin the process all over.
In the proximity of shipping
lanes or within 100 miles of landfall I never set the alarm for more than 40 minutes. I usually slept 6 to seven hours each night which was enough for me.