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-   -   Keeping Watch at Night ? (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f2/keeping-watch-at-night-109186.html)

wildshore 14-08-2013 07:52

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 1308937)
Conclusion... CHEESE IS DANGEROUS...:banghead:
And yes... I do know the ColReg's...:whistling:

LOL! :smiling:
one thing I have learned the hard way about COLREGS, if you stick to them, you're likely to stay safe, as big a pain in the butt as they can be sometimes.

jackdale 14-08-2013 08:31

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RaymondR (Post 1311053)
Dear jackdale,

Lets throw in a hypothetical.

Lets assume that there are actually 3 people aboard and for dinner they had a meal of pelagic fish and it had ciguatera. We'll assume that before all of them became helpless one of them was able to heave the vessel to. All three of them are now helpless in their bunks. What lights and signals should they display?

It appears that the vessel is now not under command by way of a lack of competent crew and whilst this circumstance is not on you list it appears that it would justify signalling a "not under command" status for the vessel. If this is so the "not under command" status because the crew is too sleepy to safely work the vessel is also valid.

They have a medical emergency. They probably should be showing distress signals. Step 1 - MAYDAY Call / set off the EPIRB. Step two - dayshapes: code flags N over C, orange distress flag with ball and square. I would avoid the smoking barrel on the foredeck. Strobe lights are used in some locales (US Inland) as distress.

Synesthesia 14-08-2013 17:20

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
What scares me about the Jessica Watson incident is that the ship didn't offer any assistance. That link posted includes this bit about some collision stats

Quote:

Most concerning for the ATSB is that 20 ships did not stop following the collision, which did not happen in this instance.
That's out of 35, so the majority of the incidents they looked at. That's horrifying. Would anyone awake on the cargo ship have said anything if she hadn't made it back to shore? Makes you wonder how many times people get run down and don't make it back.

boatman61 14-08-2013 17:36

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Think they took a lesson from it though... most of the ships crossing the Great Oz Bight are Chinese... soon as they spotted me they altered course to give me a wide berth... night and day..:p

MarkJ 14-08-2013 17:46

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 1312127)
most of the ships crossing the Great Oz Bight are Chinese...

All ships except cruise liners are manned by Chinese, Philippines, Belarusians, Indians, Pakistanis etc.

boatman61 14-08-2013 18:11

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MarkJ (Post 1312139)
All ships except cruise liners are manned by Chinese, Philippines, Belarusians, Indians, Pakistanis etc.

LOL... well I heard only Chinese on the VHF... zero S Asian... else I'd have spoken Urdu or Hindi... and when I called one up repeatedly and got no answer I asked if they had something against Gaijins they came back pretty quick... and yes I know that's Japanese...:D
But it got me my weather report...;)

rebel heart 14-08-2013 18:12

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MarkJ (Post 1312139)
All ships except cruise liners are manned by Chinese, Philippines, Belarusians, Indians, Pakistanis etc.

I hear a lot of Russians and ex-Soviet bloc countries.

Rakuflames 14-08-2013 18:16

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1309777)
I just can't see that as something that works long term. We're leaving on the Pacific crossing in the spring and it just boggles my mind that anyone is going to sit there, for weeks, pulling constant shifts just staring into the ocean for hours.

No fishing, no reading, no music, no listening to podcasts... jesus man, that's just cruel.


I don't see a problem with things like mp3's. You can read a book and look up each page. It's not like you're on a crowded superhighway and you're texting. Naturally in congested areas, that's different.

Adodero 14-08-2013 18:22

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wkstar (Post 1308730)
Airplanes have AIS & autopilot and they are not running into each other

I don't think that's really a fair comparison.

For starters, "see and avoid" is still the rule in aviation, when weather permits. Oddly enough, most mid-air collisions happen (and they do happen) in clear weather when pilots are still expected to see and avoid traffic.

When weather doesn't permit visual flight (part of which is see and avoid), the flight rules change and pilots are required to be in constant contact with ATC who will route flights based on traffic. Short of a few corner cases, there shouldn't be an airplane in the sky out of contact with ATC if weather conditions deteriorate to this point. The contact with ATC bit is a critical difference, because they will keep you separated from other traffic (although the regulatory burden for avoiding collisions in good wx still remains on the pilot, even if they are in contact with ATC).

While traffic systems (which vary depending on aircraft, but aren't always installed) are useful, I have only used them as a supplement, not a primary means of identifying traffic, mostly because they can be unreliable and often the display can be intimidating.

So short of instrument conditions, the regulations aren't that much different for aviation than they are for boats. When conditions don't permit, pilots have the benefit of ATC to provide separation, which boats don't have.

Also worth pointing out is that, unless you are an airline pilot, you aren't going to be flying for 10, 20, or 30 hours at a time. Most flights will last a few hours and be over, not requiring a daily allocation of sleep time. On a boat that's out to sea for 10+ days, you have to figure out how to sleep and survive.

Rakuflames 14-08-2013 18:22

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dugout (Post 1310041)
Why would you think words represent some sort of code in maritime law?
The words are purposely vague for everyone. That is what creates the room for debate and interpretation. That is the basis for the system.


I'm sorry, Dugout, but where did I say "code?"

"Legalease" is a different language than standard language, and each word has its purpose and meaning. Each law stands not just on its own but on the body of decisions made based on that law.

It takes a lawyer to understand laws. People love to read laws and believe they know what they mean, but often they don't.

It's the same thing in research, by the way. Without training in how research findings are written, the average person reading it is quite likely to walk away with a head full of misinformation but absolutely sure that he or she is right.

rebel heart 14-08-2013 18:23

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Aircraft also have a third dimension to operate on. That alone reduces the chances of collision dramatically.

S/V Alchemy 14-08-2013 18:31

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jackdale (Post 1311494)
They have a medical emergency. They probably should be showing distress signals. Step 1 - MAYDAY Call / set off the EPIRB. Step two - dayshapes: code flags N over C, orange distress flag with ball and square. I would avoid the smoking barrel on the foredeck. Strobe lights are used in some locales (US Inland) as distress.

Jackdale, I wonder if hoisting the Q flag is appropriate here. My understanding is that it's not only "quarantine until practique is obtained" via inspection of one's bilges, etc., but also "warning: we may have plague or the pox aboard".

Persons boarding would do so at their own risk or perhaps in HAZMAT suits. The stricken crew might not have the means to confirm food poisoning or the experience to recognize it. They might just feel deathly ill due to "cause unknown".

In fact, I thought the yellow of the Q flag was inspired by yellow fever.

I'm also recalling something about an inverted ensign that indicates "not under command"...but it's been years since I read that.

jackdale 14-08-2013 19:01

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1312189)
Jackdale, I wonder if hoisting the Q flag is appropriate here. My understanding is that it's not only "quarantine until practique is obtained" via inspection of one's bilges, etc., but also "warning: we may have plague or the pox aboard".

Persons boarding would do so at their own risk or perhaps in HAZMAT suits. The stricken crew might not have the means to confirm food poisoning or the experience to recognize it. They might just feel deathly ill due to "cause unknown".

In fact, I thought the yellow of the Q flag was inspired by yellow fever.

I'm also recalling something about an inverted ensign that indicates "not under command"...but it's been years since I read that.

Yes the Q flag would be appropriate if asking for practique after entering new waters. But that is not usually done mid-ocean. :whistling:

D&D 14-08-2013 19:03

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Synesthesia (Post 1312113)
What scares me about the Jessica Watson incident is that the ship didn't offer any assistance...That's [20] out of 35, so the majority of the incidents they looked at. That's horrifying.

Horrifying perhaps, but quite forseeable. One might wonder whether it would be a similar proportion of incidents involving collision between a ship and a yacht where those on the ship would not even be aware of the impact.

Sitting on a (relatively) small yacht passing close to a large ship and especially at night, the mind seems to conjure up images of how utterly insignificant the yacht's mass is compared to the ship, a bit like the fly into the windscreen. Such experiences (combined with the inherent uncertainty of technological collision 'defenses') certainly make us keen to keep watch!

Mr B 14-08-2013 19:25

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Big ships in the southern oceans, with all their bells and whistles,

Once free of the coast, Set their course, Set the Autopilot, The Autopilot needs to be reset when we change course in five days time,

How many people are actually on the bridge of a freighter when your going straight for a week, And in a very large ocean with nothing in it,

Shipping channels are quite clearly marked, So even the shipping is going all the same way in their respective set channels,

Too many ships and countrys in the northern Hemishere to try this out,

Southern Ocean, you can go around the world with out hitting any thing, Excluding Containers, Etc,

dugout 14-08-2013 19:38

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rakuflames (Post 1312176)
It takes a lawyer to understand laws. People love to read laws and believe they know what they mean, but often they don't.

... and I make a good living interpreting plain English for folks who believe as you do. Save yourself; words mean things; these are very specific meanings. The key here is the existence of words where they need not be. They are there with purpose.

Rule 5, Lookout
Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.


The rule could have been written without the highlighted verbiage; read it. The sole purpose is to indulge arguments of conditional circumstance and this is exactly what happens in court. Read some case transcripts. Read the legal arguments.:whistling:



Just to stay on topic, I single-hand. I sleep/nap in the daytime when appropriate and traffic permitting. I also use a bridge alarm.:popcorn:

Rakuflames 14-08-2013 19:41

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1312178)
Aircraft also have a third dimension to operate on. That alone reduces the chances of collision dramatically.


Ironically, on a sailboat we try very hard to avoid that third dimension. :D

boatman61 14-08-2013 19:44

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dugout (Post 1312259)
...Just to stay on topic, I single-hand. I sleep/nap in the daytime when appropriate and traffic permitting. I also use a bridge alarm.:popcorn:


That's for going down the ICW...??:popcorn:

bobconnie 14-08-2013 19:46

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
:whistling:If yall single handers want something to wake ya up, go to the nearest truck stop and get one of the truckers alarms !! Garenteed to wake ya up no problem!! And way cheaper then anything you could buy at any marine store!! just sayin sometimes it pays to shop LOL:D

Rakuflames 14-08-2013 19:46

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dugout (Post 1312259)
... and I make a good living interpreting plain English for folks who believe as you do.



Just to stay on topic, I single-hand. I sleep/nap in the daytime when appropriate and traffic permitting. I also use a bridge alarm.:popcorn:

Are you a lawyer? Are you telling me that in law school they did not have classes in how to draft legal documents? That you did not build a solid working knowledge of how legal documents are constructed? I'm surprised to hear that. I know the local law school here (Stetson) teaches that.

I took two classes regarding research (not counting statistics) regarding how to read and how to write research. I got pretty good at explaining what it all means to other people as well.

This isn't belief; it's fact. If in fact you are a lawyer, then bravo to you, because it's a challenging enough course of study that your JD is considered the equivalent of a Ph.D. in another discipline. It's something the majority of people can't accomplish.

As for my "reading the cases," yes, that was my point, wasn't it ...

El Pinguino 14-08-2013 20:14

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Synesthesia (Post 1312113)
What scares me about the Jessica Watson incident is that the ship didn't offer any assistance. That link posted includes this bit about some collision stats



That's out of 35, so the majority of the incidents they looked at. That's horrifying. Would anyone awake on the cargo ship have said anything if she hadn't made it back to shore? Makes you wonder how many times people get run down and don't make it back.

Well actually it did.... the watchkeeper asked if she was OK , she said 'yes', so the ship continued on it way. Your problem with that is what exactly?

At least the watchkeeper had seen her and had taken some action.... she didn't even know there was a BGS right in front of her.

Read this and you won't know whether to laugh or cry..

https://www.islandvulnerability.org/docs/oliva.pdf

meanwhile....
Nightingale Island

carstenb 14-08-2013 23:36

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wildshore (Post 1311434)
LOL! :smiling:
one thing I have learned the hard way about COLREGS, if you stick to them, you're likely to stay safe, as big a pain in the butt as they can be sometimes.

+1:thumb: Finally someone talking sense

Uncle Arthur 14-08-2013 23:48

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
I have sailed with crew 2 -3 and gone solo. With crew there is no excuse not maintaining a watch system . When i Solo it depends on where i am in relation to the land and how busy the shipping is. If i am in open ocean say sailing from Hobart to Nz i would sleep depending on conditions as i would at home , if i wake up then i would take the opportunity to look around then go back to bed .
Also when you solo you sleep when you feel you can day or night , no difference, this way when the **** hits the fan you have the best chance to react pro actively !

Uncle Arthur 15-08-2013 00:03

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Sorry i should have mentioned that i will having every light on that i have including a strobe that i can maintain overnight and not flatten the batteries overnight.

Seaworthy Lass 15-08-2013 03:23

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rakuflames (Post 1312171)
I don't see a problem with things like mp3's. You can read a book and look up each page. It's not like you're on a crowded superhighway and you're texting. Naturally in congested areas, that's different.

While on watch is far safer to simply pay attention to the task in hand rather than reading or listening to music or talking books. After some time cruising most people get into a far more relaxed mode and find they are perfectly content to just contemplate the sea and sky and boat rather than needing to be otherwise entertained.

During the day I think it is fine to read and look up every page if you are disciplined enough to do this (at night it is not recommended as it disturbs your night vision). Music at any time though simply means you miss out on useful audio cue both regarding the surroundings and your boat itself :thumb:.

nigel1 15-08-2013 03:31

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
If its OK with everyone here, I'll be single handed sailing for 10 days as from next Monday.

atoll 15-08-2013 03:59

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nigel1 (Post 1312500)
If its OK with everyone here, I'll be single handed sailing for 10 days as from next Monday.

you need to advertise for a 19 year old........the girlfriend need never know:thumb:

Seaworthy Lass 15-08-2013 04:08

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by atoll (Post 1312508)
you need to advertise for a 19 year old........the girlfriend need never know:thumb:

Nigel, if you plan to listen to this advice make sure you remember to display two vertical red lights at night and two back balls (not yours LOL) during the day :D.

Andrew B. 15-08-2013 04:17

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by atoll (Post 1312508)
you need to advertise for a 19 year old........the girlfriend need never know:thumb:

I knew I would gain something useful from this thread...

captain58sailin 15-08-2013 04:21

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
I like the books on tape, during watch, it helps keep my mind engaged, you can limit the volume so as not to interfere with watch keeping. I would never allow head phones or ear buds.

capngeo 15-08-2013 04:46

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass (Post 1312517)
Nigel, if you plan to listen to this advice make sure you remember to display two vertical red lights at night and two back balls (not yours LOL) during the day :D.

Red over red, the Captain is dead..... yup 10 days with a 19yo would do it:whistling:

My boat has few electronic goodies. My sounder is a simple two digit readout (and a lead line as a back-up), no RADAR, no AIS, no Plotter (well to be fair, my iPad is sort of like a plotter), Hell, I don't even own an EPIRB!

FWIW, on a long solo (I call anything over 24 hrs as long when solo), I heave-to/anchor on the same sleep schedule as on land... I sleep when tired!

If I have one extra person, we do 4hr watches, but sleep in the cockpit at night...tethered (even in benign weather)

3 or more crew is 4 on / 6 off with one of the "off" crew awake at all times in the dark..... we usually do this by sleeping 4 of the 6 off hours. Of course all the above require mandatory log entries at 15 minute intervals with position.

The older I get, the less attractive overnight passages are to me!:banghead:

nigel1 15-08-2013 04:50

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by atoll (Post 1312508)
you need to advertise for a 19 year old........the girlfriend need never know:thumb:


She does now.

Last time I was over in Douglas, I noticed a couple of young ladies taking pictures of the boat. I waved them over and asked if they wanted to take a look around. They jumped at the chance, but asked if their mates could take a look, and 2 minutes later, 15 young ladies onboard. Turned out they were all art students on a day out.

atoll 15-08-2013 04:56

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nigel1 (Post 1312547)
She does now.

Last time I was over in Douglas, I noticed a couple of young ladies taking pictures of the boat. I waved them over and asked if they wanted to take a look around. They jumped at the chance, but asked if their mates could take a look, and 2 minutes later, 15 young ladies onboard. Turned out they were all art students on a day out.

who needs a porche when you gotta yot:devil:

Rakuflames 15-08-2013 05:38

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass (Post 1312496)
While on watch is far safer to simply pay attention to the task in hand rather than reading or listening to music or talking books. After some time cruising most people get into a far more relaxed mode and find they are perfectly content to just contemplate the sea and sky and boat rather than needing to be otherwise entertained.

During the day I think it is fine to read and look up every page if you are disciplined enough to do this (at night it is not recommended as it disturbs your night vision). Music at any time though simply means you miss out on useful audio cue both regarding the surroundings and your boat itself :thumb:.


IF one finds music so distracting that they can't scan the horizon then they should be neither driving nor sailing.

What I personally have found is that listening to my IPOD makes the tedious part of sailing extremely enjoyable. If listening to music were dangerous, then Ralph Nader would have forced radios out of cars long ago. I personally find that my IPOD helps fight "helm fatigue." That's crucial when you're by yourself. I also sing quite freely when out and away from traffic and have polished up more than one solo performance on a long sail where things to concern oneself with are few.

I did say something like "conditions permitting." I don't have my IPOD playing in my ear in a congested area, and I'm pretty certain I mentioned that.

I think the notion that MP3's are a hazard on watch is absurd when there's nothing to hear. Would I do it in fog? No. Would I do it negotiating a new, tricky channel? No. Would I have it playing when I needed to be communicating with other crew? No. I'm sure there's something else I haven't listed but this isn't a final exam. It's just a conversation.

Helm fatigue is a very real problem on a long trip. I would use my IPOD on the open ocean and would encourage my crew to do so on their shifts unless conditions deteriorate. Most people really enjoy some kind of music, and I certainly have found music to help me stay awake at the wheel of a car on a long drive.

You don't have to agree, but I think your list is so restrictive (meaning specifically MP3's) that your caution there may have unintended negative consequences.

If you're on my boat, you leave your MP3 below -- PLEASE -- if you can't spot big freighters while listening to music.

But having had it on many times when freighters or other vessels first appeared -- for myself I'm not concerned.

And, by the way, unless you're playing the thing ridiculously loud (which will make you deaf over time and create a different problem) you can hear the radio come to life while listening to music.

The CIA also uses stimulus deprivation as a torture, you know. Read up on how the brain manages the onslaught of sights and information that come in while we're driving. You'll find that the BRAIN causes the important things to jump to the forefront. One reason new drivers have lots of accidents is that their brains have to learn what is and isn't important so they can spot trouble early.

zeehag 15-08-2013 05:53

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
when one has earbuds in place and music nicely blaring thru them, that soul is not able to hear the nuances of the engine nor is that person able to hear other lovely bits like hoses blowing out, sails tearing, and whooshing sounds one should be able to hear when sailing in the ocean.
but then that could be a good thing for some souls......:whistling:
on the other hand, that same soul will not hear the singing of the whales, either, nor the other lovely sounds of the ocean.....

nor, if shorthanding, the voice of the other individual on board calling them to watch...

earbuds and personal music are one way to effectively cut off communication between 2 individuals.

rebel heart 15-08-2013 06:58

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Arthur (Post 1312403)
Sorry i should have mentioned that i will having every light on that i have including a strobe that i can maintain overnight and not flatten the batteries overnight.

A strobe is a distress signal.

Please don't be one of those people who decides that in order to be safer you think deviating from the internationally agreed upon lighting system is somehow safer.

With a strobe it is entirely probable that you will attract vessels.

Light your vessel up appropriately as per the regulations.

jackdale 15-08-2013 07:20

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Arthur (Post 1312403)
Sorry i should have mentioned that i will having every light on that i have including a strobe that i can maintain overnight and not flatten the batteries overnight.

You should not mention that. That would make you illegal. The masthead / steaming light cannot be used if you are a sailing vessel. The strobe has been mentioned already as a distress signal. The deck lights will mess with your night vision.

jackdale 15-08-2013 07:23

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass (Post 1312517)
Nigel, if you plan to listen to this advice make sure you remember to display two vertical red lights at night and two back balls (not yours LOL) during the day :D.

In an earlier thread I think it was agreed that this was the appropriate day shape.

https://www.rankopedia.com/CandidatePix/105191.gif :rolleyes:

noelex 77 15-08-2013 07:52

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rakuflames (Post 1312589)
I think the notion that MP3's are a hazard on watch is absurd when there's nothing to hear.


Sound is one of the senses that alerts us to developing problems on a boats.
Most sailors develop a keen ear for what are the normal sounds emitted by their boat. A change in sound warrants investigation. This is true whether motoring or sailing.

As a simple example just recently the gooseneck developed an odd noise.
An investigation showed a nyloc nut had come off the in boom furling mechanism.
Another example was a clang on deck that proved to be a bolt falling out of a batten pocket receiver.
Most sailors could tell many similar tales of faults that were picked up on sound alone.

This does not exclude all music, or talking books, but when playing these you need to weigh up the diminished response of your second most important sense when sailing. This is particularly the case when using headphones, especially with music that has fewer pauses than the spoken word.

Sailing is like driving a great sports car the sound part of the experience.

markpierce 15-08-2013 08:16

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by atoll (Post 1310360)
what i'm really pissed off about is all the abandoned yachts crossing oceans with nobody on watch.......or onboard.............

Sailboat being abandoned, mid-Pacific between Hawaii and California, January 2003:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...3bbf5ed355.jpg


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