If his eyes weren't night adapted, he really wasn't fit to be on deck watch at night. From what I've read... that was the case. Just being on deck doesn't mean you're on watch, regardless of whether you say you are or not IMHO. If you're not able to see because your eyes haven't adapted, you can't keep watch properly at night. There's a reason they have red-lighting for night-time cabin use...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.