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Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

You have written a great response, Jon. It actually shocked me that you singlehand and support it. You are right, in reading your threads, I thought the opposite was true.

But in essence, that is my issue. You admitted that you single and that you are fine with others singling. Your heroes single. But in doing so, you broke the 'law'/rules. You did not break it on accident. You willingly, knowingly, and intentionally broke it and knew you would. Your heroes did (or would have) too. Your position states that we should all be treated equal, all of us have the same rules, that you support the COLREGS as they stand, yet you also support breaking the law/rules, or that you support others doing it. If you are going to break a law, willingly and intentionally, then what is the point of it in the first place? You are in a paradoxical position.

I do not believe sailing vessels should be exempt from all the COLREGS. Quite the opposite. I believe in a set of rules that we all follow. However, I do have an issue when the rules are set up in a way that technically cover all vessels, yet knowingly force some to break the law.

If you are going to put in a rule that covers all vessels, make the rule such that all vessels can legally and responsibly follow it to the letter. Do not exclude the right of man to go to sea simply because he is not taking a large crew. Who are you, or any society, or any state, or any organization to decide who can and cannot go to sea? THey do not own it and can lay no claim to it. That has never been the way of the sea. Instead, realize that the practicallity of a couple of your rules exclude (in reality) many vessels because it simply is not feasible. This exclusion includes single handers, sailing couples, and possibly three-somes in my opinion. Realize that what is possible on a large commercial vessel is not feasible in a small sailing vessel. A large commercial vessel can lay waste to dozens of miles of shoreside. It can kill not only its own crew, but thousands of others. It can cause millions of dollars in loss of property. It can house dozens of crew and be stocked to go thousands of miles without stopping. A small vessel simply cannot do this. My little 45 gallons of diesel would hardly even be noticed. I am no liability to anyone but my own crew. I couldn't put a couple of dozen crew on my vessels if I wanted to. It simply is not logical to compare the two vessels. Yet, they demand I keep a 24 hour watch and follow all the same rules as they do... and you agree?

My point is that you change the law so that everyone can follow it based upon certain guidlines. It's not like the COLREGS have never been changed. THey have been altered many times. SHould the laws of a super tanker be more stringent than the laws of a 16 foot sailboat attempting to circumnavigate? Absolutely. Reality demands that it is. I am not looking for special treatment - I am looking for fairness and the realization that their rules, as written, exclude the rights of many sailors unless they break the law - which you have done as have many before you for thousands of years.

You used Cuba as an example. Funny... I almost did the same thing. However, my use was different. You see, the US Government does not say we cannot go to Cuba. It says we cannot spend any money or engage in any trade. But since there is no way you can cruise in Cuba without spending money or engaging in trade, they have legally found a way to keep us from going to Cuba.

Same with the COLREGS. They did not say you cannot singlehand. They did not say how many crew you had to have aboard. But they did state that you must maintain a 24 hour watch - knowing man must sleep. In essence, they have found a way to exclude singelhanders from going to sea (and probably cruising couples too).

Assuming that was not their intent, then they need to alter the rules in a way that takes into account the feasibility of the vessel and its crew and makes realistic rules that we can all follow. What is written now is not feasible for all vessels and crews unless the right of man is taken away.

Fun discussion!

Brian
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