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post #13 of Old 01-25-2011
Boasun
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Rule 5 of both International & Inland Rules, state:
You will maintain a visual watch at all times. And that is Daylight or Dark and Fairweather or Foul.
And if the yacht's man read the STCW rules on watch keeping, he/she will learn on how hard this is stressed.
Single handers basically violate Rule 5 by sleeping or going below to fix a meal.
Now single handed sailing is your choice. But I perfer at least one or two other people on board to share the watch keeping.
In other words; Topside, awake and watching for protential hazards.
One or two words on way points: If you are sailing from waypoint to waypoint. Don't put your waypoints on top of buoys, daymarks or lights.
Not even reefs that out there in the ocean.
for channel movement, I have my waypoints going down the center of the channel. For those platforms, reefs, shoals and whatnots, I keep a safety margin on the down current side (if possible) of hopefully 1 to 3 miles. The safety margin is adjusted in accordance of the number of navigation hazards in the area. Trying to split the difference between two hazards.
And be aware of currents. You may think you are in safe waters when that current is insidiously driving you down onto a Navigation hazard. Then your wrecked boat becomes a monument to your navigation skills.

1600 Ton Master, 2nd Mate Unlimited Tonnage

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