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Old 09-25-2008, 07:45 AM   #41
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A great device I use to help manage the risk is the "Watch Commander" (http://www.sailsafely.com/), basically a glorified egg timer, with two audible alarms. You set the time you want to wake up, 3 - 27 minutes in 3 minute increments, after the time period elapses an alarm goes off and you have one minute to hit the reset button, if you don't an extremely loud and shrill alarm sounds, enough to wake the dead! I adjust the time interval to suit the circumstance: e.g. open ocean, night, clear visibility - typically 21 minutes; coastal, depending on traffic density, - typically somewhere between 6 and 15 minutes. It is expensive for what it is (about $150) but cheap in absolute terms. This was designed by a cruiser (I have no financial interest in it btw) for short handed sailing. Anyway enough of the plug.
This answers the question I made earlier in this discussion, thank you. I assume that you are pleased with it as you call it a "great device".

You are absolutely correct in stating that one of the most dangerous thing most people do every day of their lives is to get in their motor cars and drive to work. Statistically, I suspect that going to bed is the most dangerous as most people pass away in bed! As for solo sailing, I think the risk involved is relatively low and certainly a lot less than driving in Yemen (a near death experience per kilometer)

Thanks also for the link to your blogg. I am really enjoying reading of your adventures. It will take me a while to get through it all but it is good reading so I am saving it for later (a bit busy now to be honest).

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:30 PM   #42
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Hi Guys,

Like John I take the view that keeping a good watch at all times is impossible while singlehanding. My worst nightmare is sailing by a liferaft or a person in the water without assisting.

However, in reality on long passages, on night watch we spent most time down below at the nav table reading and such, occasionaly going up on deck to look around for lights etc. Always a favourite time for me in good weather and the ship making best speed and all quiet below.

Radar is excellent to assist the solo sailer with alarm settings to notify of approaching objects.

To keep an intense visual lookout 24 hours a day would be near impossible at sea.

"Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for a might have been" Eric Hiscock
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:21 AM   #43
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Bump. I just ran across this great topic again buried deep in the fori.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:57 PM   #44
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Hi All,
The posts were fantastic.
Thanks for sharing.

Robert
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:50 AM   #45
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I just ran across the attached blog regarding watchkeeping....and a whole load of other good stuff that's well considered and excellent advice
Rebel Heart - Eric's Blog

This guy's got 'the knowledge'.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
OH MY!!!!!!!

I started with the dream of sailing away with my wife. She refused to learn to handle the boat properly. Her actual statement to me was no man is going to tell me what to do. Well I suggested lessons from a club, or something. This became an issue. One day she said to me well maybe I just won't go.....
Great story! Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:54 PM   #47
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For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my alloted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.

- RICHARD BODE

Bode is the man; love his books.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:08 PM   #48
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Many years ago, I shared many of common fears of solo sailboat cruising. How could I keep an adequate watch? What would I do in a storm? Would I get lonely? What would I do if bad guys with guns find me alone at sea or some lonely anchorage?
Today, with 5 years of solo cruising and thousands of miles of ocean in my wake, I look back and smile.

The 2013 reality is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of solo sailors banging around the Caribbean. Most likely everyone of them had the same misgivings when they started.

Most of the passages are daysails overnighters. You won't get run down unless you're an idiot. Stay awake in areas of high shipping like the Gulf Stream between Miami and the Bahamas, or the Northwest Channel. When you're out in the sticks, chill. There's not a lot out there but ocean. Drink some coffee if you want to stay awake or buy a radar if you want to catnap. Stay at home and die without ever living if you seek absolute security.
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