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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #41  
Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Med, it sounds like you had a touch of heatsickness or heat exhaustion, which are compounded by dehydration. I find it very easy to get hit by that in very humid weather, when it is not extremely hot but the humidity prevents sweating. That's also when the rehydration mix seems to work very nicely. Folks who have not had any formal preparation to be in hot places, often are unaware they need to keep an eye on their urine color, and if it is any darker than "pale", they probably need to hydrate. They can also do a finger pinch, pinch up a fold of skin on the back of a knuckle. If the skin stays "up" and doesn't go back down right away? That's dehydration, too. (Relative to their own "normal", not necessarily to each other.)
Probably not "heatsickness" in November while it was raining and blowing in the 20s up here. With wind chill it was well below freezing. We were all a bit too concerned with huddling in place and just didn't "feel" hungry or thirsty. Agreed about the signs of dehydration as well. For me, the low grade nausea made me think that eating or drinking would result in puking, which (honestly) I just didn't want to do in front of the other crew because I'd loose face as the liveabard guy who got seasick.

I should have just eaten, hydrated (you're right it would have been a great time for the oral rehydration salts) and if it came back up, then so be it. If it stayed back down, I would have been cured.

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  #42  
Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

Umm my 2 cents

when the weather is good, read and rest for when the weather worsens
look around every 15 minutes (especially behind you)
once away from major shipping lanes (gulf stream, approaches to the panama canal, ect..) it's mostly out of your hands as the most likely thing to hit offshore is a sleepy whale, a fishing boat with no one at the wheel, or a stray sea can and all are still very unlikely and very random. the whale and sea can will get you whether on watch or not.

The best things we do is read a book, watch shows and movies on the ipad (20 minute shows are excellent if you do a visual scan afterwards), maybe watch out for squalls too (radar helps sometimes). We definately learned to close the hatches when the weather worstens.

just trying to stay awake is usually the key while being able to sleep when your shift is done
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  #43  
Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

A great thread; lots of terrific info and comments, with a bit of a debate about how rigorous the watch routine needs be before it drives crew crazy. Bottom line, it's the skippers call and while anyone can ask questions, crew need to smile and "get with the program".

The described watch routines (bilge, log, radar, visual scan etc.) would require maybe one hour out of a 4 hour watch, so still lots of time to think, chat, read and listen to music. Maybe toooo much time on a multi-day passage

Many posters with lots more blue water will have there own stories but here are three of mine:

Mid-Atlantic day 12' my very alert crewmate on a dawn watch was sharp enough to spot a large sleeping whale (bigger than us, at 52') just in time to steer around it. Benefit of scanning regularly...

Day 14, middle of nowhere, me (less alert) in poor visibility, am listening to IPod and NOT checking radar, looked up to see a container ship overtaking us parallel maybe 1/2 mile to starboard just before it cut in front and resumed course. Benefit of someone ELSE paying attention to radar....

Day 3 of 7 day run to Bermuda on edge of gale and no radio or sat phone.I didn't check the bilge on my watch but skipper did and discovered too much water. Taste test showed not, fresh, not head, but salty so we had a leak. Took a lot of poking around to find that both cockpit drain tubes were rotting out at the thru-hull and one had started to open up. If it happened while we were in a gale.....?
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  #44  
Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

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Originally Posted by wayne56 View Post
Day 14, middle of nowhere, me (less alert) in poor visibility, am listening to IPod and NOT checking radar, looked up to see a container ship overtaking us parallel maybe 1/2 mile to starboard just before it cut in front and resumed course. Benefit of someone ELSE paying attention to radar....
For me - no music. 10 minutes 360 horizon scans
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  #45  
Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

on watch, no music, as folks are sleeping. i dont have mp3 or ipod. music is for when stuff isnt failing. gales--no music. dont have ability to hear breakage when the ears are fulla music. the sound if incoming water is something to always listen for, a sis the off song sound of an engine in trouble, or the delicate sound of ripping sails..lol
the sweet sounds the gooseneck can make prior to failure is something to be heard not ignored.

and then there are the other sounds--the ones made in nature--wind increasing, whales singing, dolphins talking.....all missed when there is music in your ears on watch. subtle changes in nature's presentation are also often audible.
i love sailing and i love music, but i wont listen to music on watch. we party when anchor is set and boat is secure.

i also have the ability to have informal and relaxed watches on my formosa--the autopilot is awesome and reliable, and i like to have 2 in cockpit all the time, altho is difficult in short handed passages.i dont sleep soundly while sailing--so i can overlap the watch man and we are good. i also hear the lil stuff while i am inside boat trying to sleep so watchman has a backup for anything that may seem out of kilter--mebbe not just imagination..lol
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Last edited by zeehag; 03-27-2013 at 10:22 AM.
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  #46  
Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

Remind your crew that Venus rising will not show up on radar or AIS...
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  #47  
Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

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Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
Remind your crew that Venus rising will not show up on radar or AIS...
A moon rising through clouds can be very spooky as well.
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  #48  
Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

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Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
Remind your crew that Venus rising will not show up on radar or AIS...
Everyone who has thought, even for a few minutes, that Venus or Mars rising was a ship on the horizon please raise your hand. *grin*
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  #49  
Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

The moon? Does the moon count?

(But then, I'm the one who tried to hail the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant on VHF once, because no matter which way I altered course, this big, confusingly-lit vessel was right on my bow...)
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Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

Does anybody in sailing use a panic button/alarm for crew/skipper waking. A simple button in the cockpit to call for emergency assistance?
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