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post #22 of Old 03-12-2007
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Texas
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I can tell you what I did crossing the gulf of mexico by myself last fall: no sleeping at night PERIOD; stay out of shipping lanes except at the start and end (Galveston to Key West), sleep during daylight with a 30minute timer AND radar with a 10nm zone alarm (I would much rather have too many false echoes than miss one too close), use the autopilot routinely (uses power but saves fatigue), and heave to in bad weather and sleep. The final rule was no absolutely none whatsoever alcohol while on the voyage and no coffee after arriving and securing the boat and entering a blessed uninterrupted yes I am dead stage 10 REM (that's more than normal stage 4 sleep by one level per day of sleep deprivation)! And of course, that's one of the little blessings of single-handing: when the voyage is over and you really want to sleep, no one is pestering you to do the dishes or take them to get some real food to eat. Ha!

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