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Thread: Is sleeping OK?
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post #181 of Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I understnad your comments, Jon, however, I still believe that is wrong.
Fair enough, looks like we'll just have to agree to disagree...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
First of all, this isn't recreational for me or the majority of the sailors that go to sea. You can call it recreation if you want for how you do it, maybe. THis is my life and this is how I live. THis vessel is my home, and the sea my yard. SHould I have lived in a home on land, would your interpretation be different? I live on the sea, full time, with my family. It is no more recreational for me or the many other F/T cruisers and LA's than a house is to land dwellers. Please save the word "recreational" for the Sea Ray folks who come down on the weekends or those who don't take this seriously. I certainly do and so do the singlehanders/couples of the world that cruise. I also take safety very seriously.
Well, you may be the exception to the general rule, but in my observation most people - with the possible exception of delivery crews - who are making offshore passages on private yachts, are primarily doing so for PLEASURE, and mostly at times and places of their own choosing, and in season favorable and most comfortable for doing so... I've cruised New England in the wintertime, for example, and never saw another sail between NJ and Maine, and return. However, there was still no shortage of professional mariners and commercial fishermen plying those waters at that time of the year. To suggest that yachtsmen and cruisers who crowd those same waters only in the summertime be placed in the same category as regards to their motivation for being out there, or that both groups are exercising a comparable form of "choice", seems a bit of a stretch, to me...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Second, unless conscription has come back into the world and they forgot to tell me, every man and child on the sea is there by choice. Some get paid for it. Others dont. None of us has any more right to be at sea than the other. I sure don't believe that a commercial vessel has any more right, or a large company just because they are trying to make money off of it or it is the cheapest way for a large company to move goods. SO to be clear, everyone out there is CHOOSING to do this... be they a company, a private vessel's family, or a professional mariner on a super tanker.
I don't disagree at all, especially re the portion I bolded... That's why I can't agree with the argument that yachtsmen should be entitled to some form of special status, or exemption from COLREGS, and believe that the same rules should apply to all...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
As far as those who CHOOSE to do it alone, they are doing the best they can with what they have and are really a risk to no one but themselves or others who singlehand and do not stand a f/t watch. So, do we deny them access to the oceans beacuse they have no friends, or don't have have the money to hire a captain and crew to go with them, or wish solitude?? ...
Again, I think it's more than just a bit of hyperbole to suggest anyone is being "denied access to the oceans", here... And if you choose to sail the oceans alone or shorthanded, accept your limitations, take responsibility for the risk you - and you alone - have chosen to undertake...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
THird, do I believe that commercial vessels should live up to the fullest extent of the rules and obey them, even where I believe that some "yachties" (using your word), do not? Yes.
Hmmm, I haven't seen anyone arguing here that they should not...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
If they went to sea under the current COLREGs, they were likely breaking the law... especially as a couple or singlehanders. That is my issue. If you go out on your boat Jon by yourself (I assume you have been out of the slip by yourself, right?)
Well, since you are asking - yes, I actually have...

My girlfriend often joins me when she can after I've reached an intended destination or cruising ground, but otherwise all of the voyaging I've done on my own boat has been singlehanded... Thus far, my little tub has somehow found her way as far south and west as here...

...and as far north and east as here...

Tack on nearly 500 deliveries under both power and sail since 1976, probably 2/3 of them solo, and I reckon the number of singlehanded miles I've put behind me would at least be right up there with those of anyone else posting to this thread... So, yes - I have managed to leave a dock or two by myself, and believe I have a reasonably fair idea what singlehanded sailing involves...

I'm mystified that some in this thread appear to think I'm somehow arguing against the notion of singlehanded voyaging... Nothing could be further from the truth, probably my fault for not expressing myself more clearly... To your points, I'm simply arguing that I don't believe a separate set of COLREGS rules should apply to those who CHOOSE to go to sea shorthanded...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
In fact, I believe you are very wrong on another point to... I suspect most of the famous singlehanded sailors of old would be embarrased to think that a sailors's right to go to sea by himself in his boat was taken away If I were them, I would probably say, "Thank God I got to do it when I did." I bet the sailors of old would have never thought a day would come when a man's right to sail the oceans singlehanded was being compromised because others feel it is unsafe... the same others that are probably, at one time or another, breaking the exact same law.

We'll never know, of course, but I would reassert my opinion that sailors such as Moitessier or Mike Plant would laugh at such a special pleading made on their behalf... Talking about "a sailors's right to go to sea by himself in his boat ... (being) taken away" seems nothing short of a hysterical overreaction to a discussion of COLREGS in regards to singlehanders...

There are very few things in today's world EASIER for an individual to do, than to take off on a small boat upon an ocean, and set sail for wherever he might desire... Whenever I depart Barnegat or Manasquan Inlet, there is no checkpoint I must pass through, no person or authority requesting I produce credentials or declare my destination, or offer proof of my plan to comply with COLREGS... The procedure is far simpler and less onerous, even, than that involved boarding an airplane, or renting a car... There is NOTHING, or NO ONE, to stop you from doing so - even for a solo voyage publicized well in advance, such as Matt Rutherford's... The ONLY person really preventing a sailor from doing so, is that sailor himself, intimidated by his own self-doubts or hesitancy...

As I stated earlier, for most sailors contemplating solo voyaging, the constraints of their insurance is far more likely to determine their choices, than the sort of academic discussion we've been having here re COLREGS... That's the primary reason, of course, why most singlehanders are out there on modest boats like mine, sailing for the most part self-insured...

The legendary singlehanders that largely comprise my list of personal heroes were among the most free-spirited, individualistic rogues the sailing world has ever known... Seriously, can anyone imagine a guy like Robin Knox-Johnston hesitating to set out on a solo passage, due to concern that he might be in technical violation of a COLREGS rule, or what some freakin' judge might conceivably rule in some imaginary, hypothetical courtroom? YGBSM...

While this thread has been interesting in a purely academic sense, ultimately it has little to do with the realities of solo or shorthanded passagemaking. IMHO, anyone overly obsessing with interpretations of "the rules" is looking for an excuse NOT to sail solo, and likely doesn't possess the array of qualities and skills it takes to do so safey, successfully, or enjoyably, anyway... Hell, part of the thrill and satisfaction derived from undertaking the challenge of singlehanding has to to with the somewhat "illicit" nature of the endeavor, for me... I liken it, for example, to the decision taken by an American to sail to Cuba... Sure, it's technically "forbidden", but for those willing to throw caution to the winds, and "Just DO It", the rewards can be immeasurable... Life is too short - if one waits until the Rule Makers give the thumbs up to do so, the opportunity to sail to a port like this one may never occur... Or, by the time it does, and it becomes permissible for "everyone" to do it, the experience will be little different from heading for the Bahamas, and being surrounded by other kroozers planning pot lucks on the morning VHF net, and running their on-deck Honda generators at sunset... (grin)

Even sweeter, perhaps, is to sail away from a place like Baracoa without clearing out of a country you're not supposed to be in to begin with, violating COLREGS for 25 minutes now and then during one of the most spectacular full moon nights I've ever experienced at sea, dropping the hook the following afternoon off Hog Cay, near Duncan Town in the Jumentos... Don't ask me how I might know this, however... (grin)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 09-27-2012 at 10:14 AM.
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