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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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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Sleeping While at Sea

paulo- problem is it normally takes 90 to 120 minute to enter stage R ( REM) sleep. Also with even partial sleep deprivation when sleep occurs the rebound sleep is initially predominanted by stage 3 sleep ( slow wave sleep-hard to wake) and then stage R sleep. Continuous fragmented sleep destroys normal sleep archecture.The restorative physical and mental properties of sleep are markly decreased. No amount of training will curcumvent this basic neurobiology. The fragmented sleep and tolerance may vary a bit in different individuals but will cause a marked decline in cognitive functioning in all. There are deterilousl effects on mood,immune and metabolic function as well. There is a huge body of research of the effects of sleep deprivation given it's marked effect on performace ( military,medical personnel as well as jobs requiring alertness ( air traffic controller, nuclear plant commercial drivers etc.) I forget who it was who after a race around the clock decided to keep going leading to his demise. I would wonder if chronic fragmented sleep entered in to his decision. I believe many of these folks "micro sleep" while in the cockpit. REM pressure may lead to brief dreams intruding into wake. I further believe this activity may have long term implications to their health if done repetitively.
s/v Hippocampus
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Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Sleeping While at Sea

We only use AIS, have a transceiver which I very much recommend over just a receiver. We have seen freighters on a collision course alter their course 10 miles away and then go back to previous course after passing. We pretty much rely on eyeballs. The closest we have come to a collision was at noon on a bright sunny day off coast of Ecuador. The crew of a very large container ship obviously was not looking at radar, AIS, or outside. Call on the VHF got his attention pretty quick.
Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Sleeping While at Sea

thanks KS- good advice and great to hear only one near miss with your extensive experience. Gives comfort to newbies to the life like me. Hope you heal well,fast and fully
s/v Hippocampus
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Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Sleeping While at Sea

We started out doing 3 hr watches, and we still do while around busy shipping areas (windward passage, panama canal, gulf stream). We were becalmed with a dead motor of the Pacific coast of Guatemala and El Salvador. After a few nights with the few ships we encountered spotting us and us being out of their lanes we just both decided to sleep in the cockpit. We didn't use radar or AIS.

In reality the closest encounters we have had are with whales; one surfaced 20 ft in front of us one evening just a dusk. Not much you can do about whales and stray containers in the dark. So our policy now is if we are well offshore we just go to sleep, or sit inside and read or watch shows during the day.

We keep good lights on, even our anchor light. Fish boats outside of north America are plenty and don't have AIS. After many many nights of being on a watch schedule and not getting responses from frieghters, or really ever being very close to them we chose to sleep. After 4 or 5 days at sea, a good sleep makes life much better. If we are in busy shipping lanes we keep a more vigilant watch, but so do the ships.

We have friends who were boarded by the USCG in the Caribbean, they were asleep (in the cockpit) and woke up to a lot of lights shining on them. I think the USCG is more worried about drugs, guns, and people trafficking than sailboats without a proper watch.
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Old 07-16-2013
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Re: Sleeping While at Sea

I go to sleep...
Its my life...
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