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Thread: Is sleeping OK?
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post #42 of Old 09-21-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Like Aaron, I don't advocate sleeping/napping while underway at night--it's just plain foolish. It's risky during the day, but at night it's insane.
Well, call me insane, then - 'cause I do so pretty routinely... (grin)

On any given passage, there are so many variables at play, it's difficult to establish such hard and fast rules... Depending upon your position, or an anticipated change in weather, it can often make far more sense to grab some sleep during the night, if conditions favor that. As James mentions, I generally find napping at night to be a bit more "natural", and as a result more effective and beneficial, than those snatched during the day. Not to mention, I think the wisest course is often simply to go with what feels best at any given time, and go with what your mind and body are telling you, all other things being equal...

Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
As for spotting partly submerged debris at night, even with the best night vision - not a prayer. In 10-foot seas, especially with close wave intervals, you'd be lucky to see a telephone pole at night, let alone have the ability to avoid it during one of those 20-minute naps.
Not sure what your point is, there... Sure, sailing at night always entails some degree of risk, but what's the alternative? Heave-to after dark? In high latitudes where ice might pose a risk, that would certainly be a prudent strategy... But for the normal sort of passagemaking most cruisers undertake, seems to me the only option is to simply accept the risk involved, and take your chances...

Personally, I think one the biggest risks a singlehander can take, is sleeping while under power... That mode is far more likely to dull the senses, and reduce the chances of being alerted to subtle hints of a change in conditions that one wold be more likely to detect while under sail alone...
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