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

JPA Cate 15-08-2013 08:17

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
I do not listen to anything on watch except the sounds of the sea, the boat, the rigging, and I listen for anomalies. I'll leave the cockpit and walk around the decks if I am feeling sleepy. If this were not my practice, I wouldn't have heard the nylock on the gooseneck fall off and go "click" on the deck. The problem was dealt with, as one does. The point is, for me, being on watch is a process of trying to be aware of everything. That is the time when I have sole responsibility for the welfare of the vessel and crew.

Noelex brought up something quite important, preserving night vision. In fact, when I go below, if I have to use the head or whatever, I close my eye that has the best distance vision. I try to remember to keep it closed till I am back abovedecks. That eye will retain its night vision. To me this is useful. I read about doing it in a study of night vision and pilots.

FWIW

Ann

markpierce 15-08-2013 08:27

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.

It's obvious you haven't been on a cruise ship.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...ee9044fe79.jpg

rebel heart 15-08-2013 08:27

In the US Navy we did the "shut one eye" thing when you needed to turn on a light right quick.

Also learned to look ~5 degrees away from any light source on the horizon to see it better.

Mr B 15-08-2013 08:37

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Close your eyes lightly, count to 15 slowly, Then open your eyes, You can see in the dark,

You can also see into a Furnace running at 2000 Degrees Celcius Clearly, I learnt that during my apprenticeship as a Blacksmith working out of big furnaces, I want to see if my job is hot enough to Forge yet,

MarkJ 15-08-2013 08:42

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.

Enjoy it :)

noelex 77 15-08-2013 09:07

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate (Post 1312772)
I close my eye that has the best distance vision. I try to remember to keep it closed till I am back abovedecks. That eye will retain its night vision.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1312783)
Also learned to look ~5 degrees away from any light source on the horizon to see it better.

+1 to both of those.
If yours eyes have equal acuity close the dominant eye and preserve night vision in that eye.
To find your dominant eye keep both eyes open and point at a target (preferably with both hands). Close one eye then the other. The eye that retains the alignment is your dominant eye for distance vision.

Concentrate away from your fixation point because the rods dominate scotopic vision and these are absent from the centre of vision. This takes some practice, but it is a skill worth acquiring. It also gives you some idea of your level of night vision. If you can see better looking directly at the target your level of night vision is poor.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr B (Post 1312792)
Close your eyes lightly, count to 15 slowly, Then open your eyes, You can see in the dark,

-1 :) Not so good.
Full dark adaptation takes 30-45mins. You cannot speed it up and even a brief exposure to bright light takes you back to the start.

You don't necessarily need full dark adaptation for every task. In fact many yachts have ambient levels bright enough to ensure that full dark adaptation cannot be obtained.
However even partial dark adaptation takes many mins. Don't give away your dark adaptation carelessly.

Wrong 15-08-2013 09:25

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
As a single hander who must sleep - or stay home - I choose the former over the latter. While you may not like my choice, were you in the same place I wonder which you'd choose? Easier to be critical and place yourself on a high horse than actually choosing. Especially if you cannot afford a boat that will carry sufficient crew or own a boat that due to it's small size cannot accommodate another person comfortably, giving them adequate space and privacy to make it practical.

I'll never forget the backpacker at Rarotonga who excitedly said she wanted to sail with me after I told her I was looking for crew. I invited her down to see my boat first. Once at the harbour she, pointing in the direction of large sail boats, asked - which one of those is yours? I replied. None of them, mine is over there. Horror stricken she exclaimed - "you go on the ocean in that? Oh, I couldn't do that!" So, you see - obtaining crew on a small boat is difficult if nigh impossible - not that I have not been successful on occasion getting crew. Usually not though.

Prerequisite #1. Because my 27', 4 ton sail boat is going to come out the loser if there is an encounter with a much larger vessel - ships, long-liners and most commercial fishing boats included - I accept the possibility I'll die if a collision occurs.

Prerequisite #2. I must know my proximity to shipping routes, fishing grounds, land masses of every type including under water reefs and judge the probability a collision with another vessel is probable. Whether I heave to for rest or continue under sail depends upon these factors. Whether I rest at all depends on these factors. I always heave to leeward of land masses if possible. Even small islands a significant distance away. If nearer than 50 nautical miles to a land mass with onshore currents - even if the wind is not - I'll sail farther out to heave to. Current can rule over wind where direction of your boat's travel is concerned.

Prerequisite #3. From experience I know fatigue is dangerous - especially when approaching a destination. Fatigue can cause confusion and affect our interpretive abilities. Are the lights leading lights or a tug pulling a barge? I must get try to get a maximum amount of rest before approaching my destination.

Prerequisite #4. I have to be willing to at the most take quick cat-naps if I am to sail off shore. I accomplish this by lying on my back with knees bent and feet placed against a bulkhead. If I am approaching deep sleep my feet fall and I am awakened. Probably less than 5 minutes of rest here, but better than nothing. I go up for a look around. Repeat. Sometimes though it is necessary to sleep for hours, in which case I heave-to. At least I don't have to worry too much about ruining someone's livelihood by t-boning them at 5 knots. Can I be run into while hove-to? Sure, it's a chance I take. See prerequisite #1. Considering the odds most other vessels have a watch, including yours, the odds are lower though.

I asked a ship's captain once which is easier to spot. A sail boat in daylight or lights at night. His answer was clear - lights at night. So, I sleep at night with masthead running lights or anchor light on. My choice depends on which is likely to be be understood given my proximity to land and whether or not I am hove-to. Opinions are welcome concerning which lights are best. I tend to favour the running lights because they at least indicate where the bow, stern port and starboard are. Since my S.O.G. is typically 3/4 knot when hove to - any approach by a vessel judging my direction of travel and position indicated by my boat's lights that will clear my vessel is good. Under way the same.

I remain awake during daylight hours, taking cat-naps if necessary.:viking:

Kenomac 15-08-2013 12:06

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1309813)
Most of the sailing icons, and really anyone who spends enough time on the water eventually (via circumstance), is singlehanding.

Joshua Slocum
Bernard Moitessier
Matt Rutherford (solo'd the Americas last year)
Jim Howard (long time sailor, author)

All incredible mariners with staggering sea time and experiences. Labeling them as idiots is a little much.

If I sat at a table each night and put a gun to my head which somehow contained a thirty round capacity revolver that had just one bullet, spun the cylinder and pulled the trigger... would you call me an idiot? Or, would I be considered an icon if I lived while doing this behavior for one complete year?

Very few of the singlehandlers who've been mowed down by a freighter eventually write a book and become an icon.

Another example: Earlier today while sailing down the Spanish coast we were heading right for two fisherman on a very small boat who were anchored while re-baiting their long line. If I want to be considered an icon... is it then OK for me to mow these two down with our boat while getting some beauty sleep? They were stationary, and just trying to earn a days euro.

Reckless behavior is reckless behavior... Even the 70 yr old woman who recently sailed around the world alone, Socrates... ran her first boat aground while sleeping.

svmariane 15-08-2013 12:08

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
.Re: Maintaining night vision. Red lights rigged where illumination is needed helps a lot. Remember "Rig for Red" aboard military ships? Experience taught them the benefits of doing that. But they had separate systems for day/night.

So, years ago I'd swapped out the "normal" bulbs for red ones below decks. Well, except for the galley! That would have caused a riot.... :D

With the advent of LED technology and (slowly) lowering costs for same, I'm replacing all the overhead lights below decks with dual function units that allow selecting red or white as needed. It really makes a positive difference - and those LEDs take less amps! :thumb:

Passageways and Cabins: Dr. LED LED Dome Cabin Light

Galley: Dr. LED John Under-cabinet LED Light

{And, yes, warships of old had their gun decks painted red to obscure all the blood, after being hit, so as to lesson shock / mental impact on the crew. But we don't really want to go there, do we?}

Wrong 15-08-2013 12:17

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenomac (Post 1313009)
If I sat at a table each night and put a gun to my head which somehow contained a thirty round capacity revolver that had just one bullet, spun the cylinder and pulled the trigger... would you call me an idiot? Or, would I be considered an icon if I lived while doing this behavior for one complete year?

Very few of the singlehandlers who've been mowed down by a freighter eventually write a book and become an icon.

Another example: Earlier today while sailing down the Spanish coast we were heading right for two fisherman on a very small boat who were anchored while re-baiting their long line. If I want to be considered an icon... is it then OK for me to mow these two down with our boat while getting some beauty sleep? They were stationary, and just trying to earn a days euro.

Reckless behavior is reckless behavior... Even the 70 yr old woman who recently sailed around the world alone, Socrates... ran her first boat aground while sleeping.

You exaggerate. The dangers sailing single handed don't even approximate the danger posed in your example.:whistling:

captain58sailin 15-08-2013 12:24

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
I vaguely remember something about green or blue light being better for preserving night vision, I don't recall which color it was. I have several fixtures that will do either red or white light depending on the situation.

noelex 77 15-08-2013 12:45

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
We do seem to have this discussion often. Unfortunately there is a lot a lot of bad information on the Internet.
Brightness is the most important factor. Keep the light very dull and reduce the brightness as your dark adaptation progresses.

Dull red light is very difficult and unpleasant to use. It does not work for any tasks that require colour discrimination.
However, it the best option for preserving night vision. If you want to make a cup of coffee it is the best option.
If you want to read figures, say on the compass, it is the only option that will allow you to do this and preserve your full dark adaptation.


If your want to do detailed complex chart work dull red is very difficult to use and you may be better to sacrifice some of your night vision and use dull white light.

The recovery time will depend on the brightness of the light used and the level of illumination (is it a full moon or not). Typically you will be looking at 10-15 mins to full dark adaptation after doing chart work under dull white light.

rebel heart 15-08-2013 13:01

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenomac (Post 1313009)
If I sat at a table each night and put a gun to my head which somehow contained a thirty round capacity revolver that had just one bullet, spun the cylinder and pulled the trigger... would you call me an idiot? Or, would I be considered an icon if I lived while doing this behavior for one complete year?

Very few of the singlehandlers who've been mowed down by a freighter eventually write a book and become an icon.

Another example: Earlier today while sailing down the Spanish coast we were heading right for two fisherman on a very small boat who were anchored while re-baiting their long line. If I want to be considered an icon... is it then OK for me to mow these two down with our boat while getting some beauty sleep? They were stationary, and just trying to earn a days euro.

Reckless behavior is reckless behavior... Even the 70 yr old woman who recently sailed around the world alone, Socrates... ran her first boat aground while sleeping.

The parallel to singlehanding and Russian roulette is absurd.

If you're along the Spanish coast, or any coast, you need to be paying attention constantly. If you're withing ~50 miles of a coast line things get very different, likewise if you're in a shipping path, or any other quasi-legitimate cause for increased collision risk.

Roughly one year ago today a crew of four people smashed their boat (and died) right up on a clearly charted island while standing watches off the coast of Southern California / Northern Mexico.

I singlehanded the same area quite happily before and after, because I know that when I'm slicing between ~10 miles of water between unlit islands and the shore that's no time for taking a nap. The accident investigation couldn't show much data, but what's imagined is that they plowed into an unlit (but charted) island because the watch stander lapsed in his navigation duties, didn't see anything on the horizon, and a few minutes later collided with jagged rocks at 7 knots.

Anecdotaly speaking the majority of singlehanders I've met doing offshore passages are often better sailors than many of the crew on "properly crewed" vessels.

To widdle this whole thing down to "singlehanders are less safe than fully crewed cruisers" would somehow suggest that there is clear empirical evidence to support that, which simply isn't the case.

For every singlehander on a beach you can point to, I'll point to another boat loaded with crew that did the exact same.

svmariane 15-08-2013 13:06

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by noelex 77 (Post 1313057)
If your want to do detailed complex chart work dull red is very difficult to use and you may be better to sacrifice some of your night vision and use dull white light.

"...detailed complex chart work..." is the province of the off duty crew, performed at the below-decks nav station and with fully-encapsulating blackout curtains wrapped around that position that also cover the porthole, thus ensuring that no stray "white" light escapes to destroy the on-watch person's night vision. Furthermore, a second coffee maker should also be installed at the nav station, thus providing the required caffeine source. An optional addition is a NASA designed/approved toilet tube for use by the navigator.



{Was that a tad over the top? Sorry.... :D Was meant in jest. Really.}

Cheechako 15-08-2013 13:09

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrong (Post 1313018)
You exaggerate. The dangers sailing single handed don't even approximate the danger posed in your example.:whistling:

My guess is if we took a small boat, maybe an unsinkable, solar powered dingy and set it on a course using a computer to stay away from land at 100 miles, Making random paths throughout the world....it would never have a collision. Most the examples of collision I have seen are within probably 20 miles of land, often in a channel or harbor entrance etc. I dont imagine single handers are sleeping while entering harbor. how close is a close call? if you miss by 100 ft is that a close call? If so , I have had many... all within sight of land....
Let's face it, people have drifted for months in a raft and not been run over... or even seen a ship close enough to hail...
I say: "Go forth and single hand!" probably less risky than the risk of driving and having a heart attack, stroke or seizure....

Matt sachs 15-08-2013 13:11

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
How long does it take your "night vision" to return after the lights are turned off? nevermind its in the post above.... :)

rebel heart 15-08-2013 13:18

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt sachs (Post 1313091)
How long does it take your "night vision" to return after the lights are turned off? nevermind its in the post above.... :)

It comes back gradually and I'm sure it's different for every body but I'd guess ~30 minutes. Even just looking at illuminated instruments or the moon can screw you up.

A couple of minutes after the lights are off you can see decent enough, but picking up a faint red running light 10 miles off on the horizon is probably not going to happen for at least ~20 minutes.

Jim Cate 15-08-2013 13:25

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenomac (Post 1313009)
If I sat at a table each night and put a gun to my head which somehow contained a thirty round capacity revolver that had just one bullet, spun the cylinder and pulled the trigger... would you call me an idiot? Or, would I be considered an icon if I lived while doing this behavior for one complete year?

Very few of the singlehandlers who've been mowed down by a freighter eventually write a book and become an icon.

Another example: Earlier today while sailing down the Spanish coast we were heading right for two fisherman on a very small boat who were anchored while re-baiting their long line. If I want to be considered an icon... is it then OK for me to mow these two down with our boat while getting some beauty sleep? They were stationary, and just trying to earn a days euro.

Reckless behavior is reckless behavior... Even the 70 yr old woman who recently sailed around the world alone, Socrates... ran her first boat aground while sleeping.

Kenomac, you are getting a bit absurd here! The Russian roulette comparison is just silly.

Now, can you please name some of the singlehanders who have been run down by a freighter... you imply that they are common, but I can't seem to remember very many.

Sailing down the Spanish coast... anchored fishing boat... seems to imply being in fairly shallow water... just the sort of conditions that the single handers have said caused them to be more careful.

And Jeanne running aground in Neried (sp?)... one such incident in nearly two full circumnavigations and lots of additional miles! She is obviously a danger to herself and to us all.

It is certainly true that sailing singlehanded increases the risks of passage making. It is not clear that the increase is overwhelming nor that the risk to others is unacceptable. I strongly disagree that single handed cruising is inherently reckless. I'm less sure about large, fast singlehanded race boats... ones that would cause serious damage to other craft in a 30 knot collision.

Cheers,

Jim

monte 15-08-2013 13:27

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
my nav lights are a PITA, they are mounted centre of the catamaran and reflect off the stainless pullpits either side. Also the plotter and instruments even on lowest levels are too bright. I usually throw a towel over the instruments and peek under when I need to.. Any suggestions? Im considering a tricolor masthead but would probbably be a pain to install, or seperate the port and starboard lights to each hull so they don;t reflect..

Cheechako 15-08-2013 13:31

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Tricolor solves that decklight problem.:popcorn:

"....but picking up a faint red running light 10 miles off on the horizon ..."
I'm thinking 5 mins of adjustment to pick these up for me, but they are white to the eye at that distance anyway.... The hardest part being they obscure due to the waves.... you have to look not once in each direction, but a few times carefully... usually, if my mind says "did I see something there?" but I cant see it now... it's there!

of course I've already seen it on radar....:thumb:

niget2002 15-08-2013 13:35

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
maintaining night vision:

During an astronomy class, we rigged flashlights with some red cellophane over the lens to use while using the telescopes

Wrong 15-08-2013 13:55

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1313099)
It comes back gradually and I'm sure it's different for every body but I'd guess ~30 minutes. Even just looking at illuminated instruments or the moon can screw you up.

A couple of minutes after the lights are off you can see decent enough, but picking up a faint red running light 10 miles off on the horizon is probably not going to happen for at least ~20 minutes.

This may be a problem for anything smaller than a ship. But at night most ships emit enough light they appear to be cities on the horizon. I've encountered ships with deck lights ablaze. The light negates any possibility of seeing the navigations lights. I've had to call them asking to please shut down the deck lights. Can't tell which way they're going.

But, seeing a light does not say much about it's distance from your position. I once saw a couple of small fishing boats passing parallel to my course about 2 n.m. away in the opposite direction. Ahead, I could see what I perceived to be another fishing boat a considerable distance away. To my surprise, looming out of the night came the ghostly shape of a fishing boat either at anchor or hove to - with a single white light showing. Made me think of how vulnerable I am when hove to with only a masthead anchor light showing. Hard to judge distance to a single light...

barnakiel 15-08-2013 14:35

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.

So?

b.

barnakiel 15-08-2013 14:45

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1309813)
Most of the sailing icons, and really anyone who spends enough time on the water eventually (via circumstance), is singlehanding.

Joshua Slocum
Bernard Moitessier
Matt Rutherford (solo'd the Americas last year)
Jim Howard (long time sailor, author)

All incredible mariners with staggering sea time and experiences. Labeling them as idiots is a little much.

Tell it to the Hiscocks, the Dashews and the Pardeys. Berque brothers also confirm your point.

Labeling anybody as an idiot sure is.

b.

Wrong 15-08-2013 14:47

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by barnakiel (Post 1313160)
So?

b.

There is really nothing more important than they speak English. Otherwise, most of them are competent in their jobs.

There was a thread not long ago discussing a collision between two ships. Videos even. So, even between ships you'll find exceptions to the rule. Just like people who ply waters on sail boats.:popcorn:

barnakiel 15-08-2013 15:12

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrong (Post 1313171)
There is really nothing more important than they speak English. Otherwise, most of them are competent in their jobs.

There was a thread not long ago discussing a collision between two ships. Videos even. So, even between ships you'll find exceptions to the rule. Just like people who ply waters on sail boats.:popcorn:

I too wonder at times what they are trying to tell me in our intimate VHF tete-a-tete. I do not mind an odd accent as I am not a native speaker either. Still, somehow, I always imagine them babbling officers to be Indian.

;-)
b.

Therapy 15-08-2013 17:26

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by J Clark H356 (Post 1309799)
On either my first or second return trip from Key West to Boca Grande pass, I was on watch in the middle of the night (only 2on board) and saw a single small white light in the distance. I watched it carefully as it stayed in the same place on my rail- no radar on this 32 ft Tahiti Ketch, and determined we were on a collision course. I shifted course slightly to the west and in a few minutes private fishing boat, no one visible at either helm went by me at no more than 30 yards going about 20 knots. If I hadn't altered course, he would have hit us head on.

Whoever was in that boat was not aware of what was going on around him and never saw us. Made me realize that we all tend to travel similar courses, so someone going south from Boca Grande Pass to the north channel of Key West is very likely to be on the same or nearly same reciprocal course as you are. Point is if you are going north, someone else is probably going south on a similar course. Keep your head out in the cockpit and your radar and AIS alarms active. It might save your life! The sea is not nearly as empty as you might think.

That is why I don't follow that line. I go a good ways to one side or the other and let those with fancy, accurate equipment stick to "the line". It is safer outside the box.

Therapy 15-08-2013 17:38

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Vessel with anchor down but not holding
I should have thought of that as my (ex) boat sailed too fast when hove to. 16 miles in 8 hours. If I had known I could have let out a bunch of anchor and gone slower.


And filled a guideline check box.:thumb:

RaymondR 15-08-2013 19:28

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Solves the problem of whether or not you should or should not display "vessel not under command" when hove to. Just hang the anchor down a few feet and you most certainly could claim "Vessel with anchor down but not holding".

I read somewhere that near collisions are becoming more prevalent because we are all using the same arrival and departure waypoints which are often published in cruising guides.

jackdale 15-08-2013 19:32

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by niget2002 (Post 1313118)
maintaining night vision:

During an astronomy class, we rigged flashlights with some red cellophane over the lens to use while using the telescopes

Red led headlamp (with adjustable tensity) and a Maglite with a red lens.

The Maglite with my rigging knive is a pouch attached to my inflatable harness.

The headlamp is always around my neck at night.

jackdale 15-08-2013 19:38

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Cate (Post 1313106)
Now, can you please name some of the singlehanders who have been run down by a freighter... you imply that they are common, but I can't seem to remember very many.

text book case

https://www.casetext.com/case/granholm-v-tfl-exp/

I did hear of a freighter coming into Singapore with a mast wrapped around the bow. Might be an urban myth. We will never know how many crew.

rebel heart 15-08-2013 19:40

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RaymondR (Post 1313357)
I read somewhere that near collisions are becoming more prevalent because we are all using the same arrival and departure waypoints which are often published in cruising guides.

If more collisions are indeed happening I'd speculate it's due to inexperienced people going to sea. I have never "plugged in a waypoint" and steered to it. I don't even think I know anyone who does that, but I'm sure there are a lot of dudes staring at the arrows on their chartplotters and considering that sufficient navigation.

donradcliffe 15-08-2013 20:30

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1313074)
The parallel to singlehanding and Russian roulette is absurd.


To widdle this whole thing down to "singlehanders are less safe than fully crewed cruisers" would somehow suggest that there is clear empirical evidence to support that, which simply isn't the case.

For every singlehander on a beach you can point to, I'll point to another boat loaded with crew that did the exact same.

I'll have to disagree. If singlehanding has been shown to be no riskier than fully crewed, why is it so hard for singlehanders to get insurance??

I fully agree that not standing watches is a form of Russian roulette. The odds that you will have a collision at sea are not high, but they are not zero. In my own experience, there were three times I had to alter my stand-on course to prevent a collision when more than 50 miles offshore. If I hadn't changed course, I wouldn't be here to post this. Between 10 and 50 miles, its probably been over 50 times.

Since that's been over 100,000 sea miles, the odds aren't that high, but it keeps me and my crew scanning the horizon every 12 minutes offshore. Singlehanders just can't do this, and they have to accept the consequences.

RaymondR 15-08-2013 20:50

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
I am a bit of a neanderthal and don't have a chart plotter (Although I do admit to being in the process of connecting my OpenCPN computer up to my autopilot so that I can do what the chart plotter does) I plug the waypoints into an old Nav 5000D Magellan, press the "Track" button on the autopilot and let it do the steering.

I am a lazy old sod and after I run a course on a chart and "prove" it I ink in the track and the lats and longs on the sides and tops of the charts to reduce the chances of reading and transcription errors and use the waypoints over and over. Since a lot of other people are probably using the same or similarly positioned waypoints for voyages between the ports and anchorages it appears inevitable that one day I will run into some other lazy old sod who does the same.

This living and cruising a boat alternate lifestyle is the pits isn't it.

I used to be an offshore oil driller and built the boat 27 years ago and have lived permanently aboard since 2001 and consequently am as experienced as hell however if I do run into someone it will be because they were going to fast for me to dodge or I was not watching where I was going and nothing to do with inexperience.

D&D 15-08-2013 21:08

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donradcliffe (Post 1313407)
I'll have to disagree. If singlehanding has been shown to be no riskier than fully crewed, why is it so hard for singlehanders to get insurance??

I fully agree that not standing watches is a form of Russian roulette. The odds that you will have a collision at sea are not high, but they are not zero. In my own experience, there were three times I had to alter my stand-on course to prevent a collision when more than 50 miles offshore. If I hadn't changed course, I wouldn't be here to post this. Between 10 and 50 miles, its probably been over 50 times.

Since that's been over 100,000 sea miles, the odds aren't that high, but it keeps me and my crew scanning the horizon every 12 minutes offshore. Singlehanders just can't do this, and they have to accept the consequences.

Very well said...and we agree 100%, albeit with only a much more modest 20,000 sea miles here.

rebel heart 15-08-2013 21:10

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donradcliffe (Post 1313407)
I'll have to disagree. If singlehanding has been shown to be no riskier than fully crewed, why is it so hard for singlehanders to get insurance??

I fully agree that not standing watches is a form of Russian roulette. The odds that you will have a collision at sea are not high, but they are not zero. In my own experience, there were three times I had to alter my stand-on course to prevent a collision when more than 50 miles offshore. If I hadn't changed course, I wouldn't be here to post this. Between 10 and 50 miles, its probably been over 50 times.

Since that's been over 100,000 sea miles, the odds aren't that high, but it keeps me and my crew scanning the horizon every 12 minutes offshore. Singlehanders just can't do this, and they have to accept the consequences.

Well with 100k miles under your belt there's much I can say against that.

bobconnie 15-08-2013 21:33

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
:whistling:Theres an old trick my daddy taught me many years ago. I have a pair of gas welding goggles, with semi-light lens. Before I go below to get coffee, sandwitch or anything, I put them on and go below and do what I have to with a couple of small white lights on! worked for me for a long time, Take em off after closeing up the hatch, see just fine no messed up night vision! works for Connie and I

carstenb 15-08-2013 22:39

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
I just close one eye when going below or working with something that requires lights.

It is pretty easy to train yourself up for this (working one-eyed).

couple of weeks ago we were crossing several shipping lanes and fishing grounds at the same time. ships everywhere and all lit up like a french ho-house in new orleans. couldn't see any nav lights because the floodlights on board obscured everything else. very difficult to judge distance on the fishing boats, not to mention speed direction etc.

spent a lot of time with my eyes glued to the binoculars. had my handheld vhf clipped to my pfd.

great sail though - broad reach with winds at 14 knots. AT that wind speed, Capri sails like at dream, full hull speed despite a big reef in the main and the jib a couple of furls in.

hit harbour at 6 am - i'd made a slow rising dough the evening before. damn fresh baked rolls, and hot coffee - best breakfast I've had in while.
:D

captain58sailin 16-08-2013 01:45

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
carstenb, let me know when you are going out next time and I'll be there to catch your lines when you come in :), I love fresh baked goods. (Just kidding, I'm too far away right now, but I will file that away for the next time I am in your area. bobconnie I like the cutting goggles idea, I will probably use that. Most ships while underway show only navigation lights, unless you are on a cruise ship. Watch for the range lights, (two) white lights, one higher up than the other, the further apart they appear the bigger the vessel, also means they are not aimed at you, if you see one over the top of the other and the red & green, watch out! By watching the range lights you can tell if the vessel is turning or not.

Blue Crab 16-08-2013 07:18

Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Therapy (Post 1313289)
That is why I don't follow that line. I go a good ways to one side or the other and let those with fancy, accurate equipment stick to "the line". It is safer outside the box.

I suspect the line plus all the other electronics lends a false sense of mastery and lessening attentiveness.

Beyond the sheer beauty of night sailing lies the reality of commercial and private boats out fishing without their lights on. Scares me. I've had the very unpleasant experience of passing same ghosting along with no apparent watch.

Can't imagine me listening to music or books at night solo. That'd be like roulette with two bullets. As a coastal guy, I prefer to anchor at night. That's worrisome enough.


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