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post #21 of 25 Old 03-12-2007
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Originally Posted by wumhenry
What good does stopping do? Isn't your chance of being run over by a ship the same whether you're moving or stationary? If so, sailing on autohelm while sleeping would improve your odds, by reducing time at sea.
The only time I think that stopping makes sense is if you're going to get close to shore or a major shipping lane if you don't stop. Otherwise, making progress towards your destination makes much more sense.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #22 of 25 Old 03-12-2007
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I can tell you what I did crossing the gulf of mexico by myself last fall: no sleeping at night PERIOD; stay out of shipping lanes except at the start and end (Galveston to Key West), sleep during daylight with a 30minute timer AND radar with a 10nm zone alarm (I would much rather have too many false echoes than miss one too close), use the autopilot routinely (uses power but saves fatigue), and heave to in bad weather and sleep. The final rule was no absolutely none whatsoever alcohol while on the voyage and no coffee after arriving and securing the boat and entering a blessed uninterrupted yes I am dead stage 10 REM (that's more than normal stage 4 sleep by one level per day of sleep deprivation)! And of course, that's one of the little blessings of single-handing: when the voyage is over and you really want to sleep, no one is pestering you to do the dishes or take them to get some real food to eat. Ha!

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Mark
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post #23 of 25 Old 03-12-2007
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Sounds like great advise, Mark.
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post #24 of 25 Old 03-12-2007
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The no alcohol is very key...even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgement and interfere with your night vision...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #25 of 25 Old 03-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
I guess you could put up two anchoring daymarks and sleep for a few hours during the day. The signal of two round dayshapes over one another indicates that the boat is not under command IIRC. I think that if you're single handing, being awake at night is more important than being awake during the day... but it also depends on where you are at the time. Sleeping in the middle of a large shipping channel to a major harbor is asking to win a Darwin Award. Staying out of the shipping channels as much as possible is a good idea for small sailboats that are single handing.
SailingDog you have it correct: Not Under Command is; Two vertical black balls during the day and Two vertical all around red lights at night. But that don't relieve you of having to maintain a proper lookout. But it may by using those day shapes or light, keep you out of a little less trouble.
And a little less trouble may make the difference. But then you are depending on someone who may or may not be standing a proper lookout on one of those ships. And as to whether they see the Not Under Command shapes or lights may be another story.
A single hander was partially held at fault by the courts when he was ran down by a ship, because he was not standing a proper lookout. The only good part of his story was that he survived the collision.
But maybe someone can program a RaCon or a Sark to display a singlehander's code on a ship's radar and have it accept by SOLAS. Anything to make life safer out there.
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