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Old 12-01-2014, 05:43 PM   #41
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On overnight passages we do two hour shifts from 10 pm to 6 am if there are two of us. If there are four of us, then we do three hour shifts in a way that one person is replaced every 1/1-2 hours.

Since these are generally just overnights or 48 hour trips, sleep is caught up on during the day when it is easier for one person to be on watch.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:11 PM   #42
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Again...an overnight is doable for most people.

Lack of sleep has many different effects on people and individuals are effected differently.

But it takes weeks of cycle change to effect any effect and there is no "banking" sleep or getting a good rhythm by trying to catch up when you aren't used to that rhythm.

The scientific study that confirms all of that was doe by the USCG, the Army, and NASA as well as others. It may be about 14 years old at this point but I haven't read anything more current.

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5211/do...Operations.pdf

Could there be new evidence? Sure but I haven't seen it yet.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:39 PM   #43
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Even if you don't do an "overnight" passage, you can still make up miles by leaving before sun up and travelling a couple hours after dark. At 7.5Kts this is a no brainer. an extra 30 miles per day with a nap or two in the middle of the day. A good way to get used to running after dark without a total commitment. The people who anchor would like this method. Marina cruisers, maybe not so much unless in south Fl where marinas are every mile.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:57 PM   #44
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Even if you don't do an "overnight" passage, you can still make up miles by leaving before sun up and travelling a couple hours after dark. At 7.5Kts this is a no brainer. an extra 30 miles per day with a nap or two in the middle of the day. A good way to get used to running after dark without a total commitment. The people who anchor would like this method. Marina cruisers, maybe not so much unless in south Fl where marinas are every mile.
Yes. Great advice. Same goes for running in bad weather, heavy seas, big winds, fog, dark, etc.

Start with a little at a time.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:38 PM   #45
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As a side note - One of the coolest things about cruising at night is the chance of seeing phosphorescence. It doesn't happen often, but when it does -it is absolutely amazing.
I've seen a really good show of phosphorescence only once, but I'll remember it forever.
For those who haven't had the chance, it' is jaw dropping, like watching a really good show Aroura Borealis (Northern Lights) but in the water.


Tough to explain - Here's a vid which gives an indication.



Sorry for the diversion - Back to sleep deprivation.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:41 PM   #46
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For those of us hitting the Alaska waters in the summer, 18 hour days are very easy to do, but with great stops every 20 or 30 miles not much need to do so. I've a friend who does Port Townsend to Ketchican or Juneau non stop thus avoiding the need to clear Canada customs. Seymour Narrows is the primary timing issue (to get a sleigh ride either way), discounting the weather of course.

But not singlehanded for all those boaters I know, debris watch is pretty important in a few spots.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:22 AM   #47
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I'm really glad to see there's sailors who enjoy night runs - I not infrequently do it for sport - different and interesting perspective on nearly every aspect of boating.

As to watches - stood 6/6 as a routine on submarines - then got associated with the brown water navy that preferred the grunts' 2/2. I seemed to prefer the 2/2 as did a lot of people more accustomed to the 6/6 or 4/4 of the haze grey navy. Maybe for the reasons referred to by Wayfarer

Great discussion.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:21 AM   #48
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As a side note - One of the coolest things about cruising at night is the chance of seeing phosphorescence. It doesn't happen often, but when it does -it is absolutely amazing.
I've seen a really good show of phosphorescence only once, but I'll remember it forever.
For those who haven't had the chance, it' is jaw dropping, like watching a really good show Aroura Borealis (Northern Lights) but in the water.
The phosphorescent glow-show has been amazing lately here in the Persian Gulf. Perhaps its the cold water with the change of seasons? Big, giant pieces of glowing "things" that the kids love to collect.
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:28 PM   #49
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Even the best boaters can screw up "running" at night. This was last weekend during the Ocean Volvo Race. They hit a shoal/reef going 19 knots in Indian Ocean near Mauritius. No one was hurt.


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Old 12-05-2014, 05:43 PM   #50
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Going to sea with a shorthanded crew to begin with is a gamble.

With no flexibility, sea sickness, sickness, injury, excessive fatigue can change things fast.

Not saying don't do it, but be ready for the consequences.
I totally agree with this. Any plan that doesn't allow for personel replacement is dangerous. I consider 3 the minimun and 4 optimum. However, I tend to operate with an abundance of caution. So far it has stood me in good stead.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:42 PM   #51
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Most I have done is 23 days 24/7 with only two of us, (pacific crossing) but other shorter passages too. We started with 4 on 4 off, but always tuned it up for the day, how we were feeling, the weather etc.

Probably ended up tending more towards longer shifts than shorter ones as by the time one got below, wet gear off, and got to bed a short shift ended up with little more than a nap which is hard to do over multiple days.

With only two people it can get a bit solitary, as you are not both up at the same time for many hours in the day.

Shorter passages (measured in a few days), we did some runs that ended up as a few 2 - 3 hr naps in a 24 hour period, but that can only be maintained short term. It is amazing how much a lack of sleep catches up with your judgement and mental acuity.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:14 AM   #52
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I would imagine that half of my boating experience has been at night. On the Western Rivers and Inland Waterways on commercial towboats the watches are split 6 on 6 off with the Capt. taking the "front" watch (6-12) and the pilot taking the "back watch" (12-6). I always enjoyed the "back watch" during the midnight to six in the a.m. period there were little or no distractions- no cook coming up and complaining about something, no calls from the dispatchers changing orders, no deck personnel whining about there girlfriends-just you and the river.
As mentioned above, your body does adjust- to this day I only sleep about four hours at a time and really try to take a nap everyday. I drink coffee black due to not turning on a light to add sugar or cream.
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:47 PM   #53
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I always enjoyed the "back watch" during the midnight to six in the a.m. period there were little or no distractions- no cook coming up and complaining about something, no calls from the dispatchers changing orders, no deck personnel whining about there girlfriends-just you and the river.
As mentioned above, your body does adjust- to this day I only sleep about four hours at a time and really try to take a nap everyday. I drink coffee black due to not turning on a light to add sugar or cream.
Amen on the 12-6. It does turn into a bit of a vampire watch in the winter, though. At least up north, it does. You're only on watch in the daylight for 4 hours a day. And why, oh why, are the cooks always the source of so much freakin' drama???

What are your hitches like? I find that after a month, 6 and 6 kinda beats me up. Also, I recently gave up most of my coffee habit. I switched to decaf, just for the taste, and I only drink it every once in a while. I've found that the little sleep I do get is much better quality.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:16 PM   #54
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Dave:
I have not done any commercial stuff for quite awhile. They were normally supposed to be 30/20 but usually ended up 40/15. The longest was 84/15. I believe the reason the cooks were so drama filled, and this is not meant to be sexist due to many were male, is that they encountered all members of the crew and listened in on all table conversations. There biggest joy was to stir up one watch against the other it seemed. The engineers were typically the easiest to get along with and presented the least amount of trouble, probably because most were either deaf or very hard of hearing.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:33 PM   #55
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They were normally supposed to be 30/20 but usually ended up 40/15. The longest was 84/15...

There biggest joy was to stir up one watch against the other it seemed.

The engineers were typically the easiest to get along with and presented the least amount of trouble, probably because most were either deaf or very hard of hearing.
84 days of 6 and 6 would be a real killer. No thanks...

I find that many crew members enjoy causing trouble like that. My current Captian also likes to stir the pot. It can make things fun in small doses, but is mostly really annoying.

It's great having an engine crew you can get along with. Makes things so much smoother. There are few things more counterproductive than a 'deck vs engine' mentality. You're literally all in the same boat together...
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #56
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