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post #43 of Old 03-27-2013
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Toronto
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

A great thread; lots of terrific info and comments, with a bit of a debate about how rigorous the watch routine needs be before it drives crew crazy. Bottom line, it's the skippers call and while anyone can ask questions, crew need to smile and "get with the program".

The described watch routines (bilge, log, radar, visual scan etc.) would require maybe one hour out of a 4 hour watch, so still lots of time to think, chat, read and listen to music. Maybe toooo much time on a multi-day passage

Many posters with lots more blue water will have there own stories but here are three of mine:

Mid-Atlantic day 12' my very alert crewmate on a dawn watch was sharp enough to spot a large sleeping whale (bigger than us, at 52') just in time to steer around it. Benefit of scanning regularly...

Day 14, middle of nowhere, me (less alert) in poor visibility, am listening to IPod and NOT checking radar, looked up to see a container ship overtaking us parallel maybe 1/2 mile to starboard just before it cut in front and resumed course. Benefit of someone ELSE paying attention to radar....

Day 3 of 7 day run to Bermuda on edge of gale and no radio or sat phone.I didn't check the bilge on my watch but skipper did and discovered too much water. Taste test showed not, fresh, not head, but salty so we had a leak. Took a lot of poking around to find that both cockpit drain tubes were rotting out at the thru-hull and one had started to open up. If it happened while we were in a gale.....?

32 Mirage
Great Lakes, Canada
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