Martin K. Valestrand, Eastport, NY
How do you man the bridge with two people, on a long ocean crossing?
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Every cruising couple finds a watch routine that works for them. In Egret's case, Mary and I do 4 hour watches at night with a loose schedule during the day. Mary takes the tough midnight to 4:00 AM schedule. I follow and stay on watch until 10:00 or 11:00. You will find when daylight arrives you can go forever. This way Mary gets real sleep and I doze during the day.
It takes a full day to day and a half (24-36 hours) to acclimate, then as days pass it gets easier and easier. A single night at sea is the most tiring.
It was surprising to find many sailboaters simply reduce sail and go to sleep at night with no watch. Any change in boat motion (wind
speed/direction) brings them up top. In Egret's case, or any other powerboat we know of, we maintain watch 24/7.
The hardest part of overnighters is throwing off the docklines, not time spent at sea.