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  #11  
Old 01-06-2007
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I've seen too many containers, logs and various dangers at sea to be able to sleep solo at sea. I missed a container once (only one corner was still barely out of the water) by a few feet but I saw it coming since I was on watch. Also investigated many collisions so I personally will not solo on long passages.
Eric
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2007
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tgabriel

Thanks for the link to the around the world book. It was great.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3a
I've seen too many containers, logs and various dangers at sea to be able to sleep solo at sea. I missed a container once (only one corner was still barely out of the water) by a few feet but I saw it coming since I was on watch. Also investigated many collisions so I personally will not solo on long passages.
Eric
Drop a parachute anchor, flip on your masthead strobe and anchor light, and go to sleep.
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2007
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"flip on your masthead strobe"
Hmmm...intentionally transmitting a false distress beacon. Not a way to make friends at sea.
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
"flip on your masthead strobe"
Hmmm...intentionally transmitting a false distress beacon. Not a way to make friends at sea.
Look at that, I learn something new everyday. I didn’t know a strobe was a “distress” light. In fact I don’t remember seeing that in any book of regulations. Can you point me to a reference for that?
Thanks,
Robert Gainer
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  #16  
Old 01-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
"flip on your masthead strobe"
Hmmm...intentionally transmitting a false distress beacon. Not a way to make friends at sea.
I too would like to see the regulations that state a flashing strobe is a distress signal. i don't believe that is the case... and from this web page, I don't see a flashing light listed. The only light that is considered a visual distress signal is a light flashing in an SOS pattern.

Granted, a strobe light is probably not allowed under COLREGS, as flashing lights have specific meanings, but I would rather have a masthead strobe flashing, and have ships around me be aware of me that not have it flashing. Technically, when you're sleeping and single-handing, you're not under command and should be running under two vertically spaced red lights not a flashing strobe.
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2007
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Quote from the COLREGS:
Quote:
Rule 36 Signals to attract attention

If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel any vessel may make light or sound signals that cannot be mistaken for any signal authorized elsewhere in these Rules, or may direct the beam of her searchlight in the direction of the danger, in such a way as not to embarrass any vessel. Any light to attract the attention of another vessel shall be such that it cannot be mistaken for any aid to navigation. For the purpose of this Rule the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided.
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2007
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Zanshin-

While that indicates a strobe should be avoided...it doesn't say that it is a designated DISTRESS signal. If I am out in the middle of the ocean, and single handing, it very well may be that I want to get the attention of the ship, so that it knows that I am there and to avoid me. You seem to be confusing attention and distress. From my reading of the COLREGs this would be an appropriate use of a strobe.

Harbor patrol, marine police, and marine fireboats often use revolving or strobe lights. Does this mean that they are in distress... I think not... It means that they are trying to make sure that they are noticed by other boats. That would be the same purpose of using a masthead strobe when single handing.
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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
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  #19  
Old 01-19-2007
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Sailingdog - I never stated anything about my interpretation of the COLREGS regarding flashing lights, I just posted the "letter of the law" as it were. But I did a little bit of Googling (which I guess is now a valid verb in English) and found that while opinions differ, most of the interpretations from what I would consider reputable sources indicate that strobes should not be used for the purposes noted in this thread
U.S. Coast Guard
Blue Water Sailing article
to refer to 2 U.S. based posts.
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2007
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While singlehanding, I take 15 minute naps and then take a visual to see what's around me. Roughly speaking, this should give me time to prepare for the ship that was over the horizon and is now in my sights and steaming my way. i found that for 4-5 day cruises, this was pretty good sleep and that I could take catnaps during the day and still maintain good vigilance.

I think, in general, visibility at night is as good or better for spotting ships as it is in the day. Other objects, like sunken containers, and increasing wave size or rogue waves are much more difficult during a black night.

With regard to heaving-to, I would rather keep moving and get to my destination. Isn't a slow-moving boat as much a target as a faster-moving one? And you've made no progress while heaving-to. I don't like the idea of going down below at all when sailing alone and I don't sleep for any length of time.

I also don't count on radar to alert me to possible collisions. I use it, don't get me wrong, I just prefer to count on my eyes and other senses with radar as a good back-up.

A final note: I always have a trusty companion along with me. At least one dog comes along for any long distance cruising and although I don't count on him to keep guard without interruption, each one has done just that. Even the smallest changes to the environment, bigger waves, dolphins, fish, have always created a need to bark and howl. And they are really great company.
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