Join Date: Oct 2007
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Re: Trusting someone to take a watch
The reason I'm asking is because on this Norfolk trip I did miss a really big ship.
In my defense I was not on solo watch, the captain/owner was also on deck, The ship was two miles away, and it was not on a collision course with us.
The AIS alarm picked it up before me and even after we knew it was there it took quite a few seconds staring in exactly the right place before we could see it.
On a night watch you have way too much time on your hands to do some mental calculations.
At a theoretical high end closing speed of 35 knots that two miles would close in about 3.5 minutes.
I'm pretty confident we would have seen it because even though we were out of the shipping channel we were both on high alert coming near the Norfolk harbor.
I also found that the very good condition dodger glass was still a significant hindrance to visibility especially when it was raining or when looks at certain angles because of curves in the glass. They guy I was with was on his way to do the Salty Dog by himself. He has soloed for tens of thousands of miles and was way more relaxed then I was.
You really couldn't see that well out of the dodger. So what I did was every three to five minutes pop my head above the dodger and do a 360 scan.
You really couldn't stay out in the open for more than a few minutes at a time as your face would freeze.
I was concerned about my timing. Was it 3 minutes or 6 minutes. As you can tell I'm a worry wort. I was thinking about getting an egg timer kind if gadget so between scans you could just huddle under the dodger.
I've done hundreds of hours at night, probably more than in the day but it still bothers me a bit, overactive imagination.
I guess what I'm trying to find is a protocol where I just follow the protocol and while nothing is perfect it is what I'm going to do and it will have to be good enough.
The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
Last edited by davidpm; 11-02-2013 at 12:50 AM.