You are not logged in.

Announcement

Welcome to the one and only Spiceislander Talkshop. Please register and announce yourself in the New Members Forum. You will be upgraded to full use of the forum when it is established you are not a spammer.

#1 Dec 15, 2020 2:57 pm

New Historian
Active

When staying awake means staying alive

In the utter blackness, alone at the helm of a small boat in the middle of the ocean, sleep is a luxury that could cost you your life – and those of all on board. On the old clipper ships, even thousands of miles from land, to be caught asleep at the wheel would automatically earn the miscreant a keel-hauling – or worse. Seasoned sailors employ mental tricks to stay awake during those long lonely nights. Some talk to themselves, sing, laugh at old jokes, or have conversations with imaginary lovers. I tried that but quickly stopped; that’s the first stop on the bus to the madhouse. Next thing you know you’re hurling insults at passing dogs.

I found that the best way to keep by brain awake was by exercising it. On night watches I would allow my mind to wander down all sorts of obscure corridors, dredging up half-buried faces and fragments through the mists. With lots of time on your hands, and minimum distractions, it’s amazing how many forgotten events can be un-forgotten, even things you’d forgotten you’d forgotten. Re-living the laughter, the fun, the pain, exorcising ghosts, facing fears. Late at night on the wheel old memories would resurface so vividly I’d find myself like all those other half-crazy solitary sailors: laughing hysterically at the moon. Or sometimes crying. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those perpetually depressed souls – far from it. But what else are you going to do all night on the deck of a dark boat, trying to stay awake?

Last edited by New Historian (Dec 15, 2020 2:58 pm)

Offline

#2 Dec 15, 2020 6:44 pm

Expat
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

Play your downloaded movies from Netflix?

Offline

#3 Dec 15, 2020 7:35 pm

houston
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

The mind can play a lot of tricks when suffering from fatigue.
Some people can go for days but it is a dangerous impairment.

Offline

#4 Dec 16, 2020 12:32 pm

Dancer
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

New Historian posted a good  one. " Staying awake , Staying Alive "
> I found the best way to keep the brain awake was by exercising it  <.
'   True , true , but too much exercise leads to burn out. Listen to houston . lmao.
'hurling insults at passing dogs and dreaming of 38 ,26 , 38 females  is not good. lol.

Temperature outside   now -6C.  If no need to go outside , why go ?  Others (kids)   busy  having their own lives , house pretty empty  sooooo , 'Whatsapp , Skype , cell , Netflix , yeah , yeah.
But where is the sun
Where is the Trade Winds in your face
Where are the guys at the Sport Bar (masked) talking balls
when you choose to go .
Malls - restricted
How much food can you buy at Supermarkets
Hitting on females curtailed .
COVID you Stinker.

Offline

#5 Dec 16, 2020 10:01 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

houston wrote:

The mind can play a lot of tricks when suffering from fatigue.
Some people can go for days but it is a dangerous impairment.

Sometimes I do yacht deliveries, a more perfect "job" there could never be: you get flown somewhere, sail a beautiful boat back to Grenada, all expenses paid, and at the end you get PAID for it! Moorings Yacht Charters are the biggest around here, but there are plenty others. The companies used to allow single-handed deliveries, these island sailors know their stuff, but of course, every now and then, things go amiss. Like pissing.

You're in the cockpit in the middle of the night and you need to piss, 90% of all sailors won't go below to the head, having to pump in and pump out; they'll just piss over the back. One hand on the backstay, one hand doing the business, and ahhhhh. The boat's on autopilot, so no problem. Except...

One morning a Moorings 50-foot Benneteau was found, run aground on the beach in north Saint Vincent, engine running and overheating. Everything ship-shape on board, no sign of life. And that was the last time anyone ever saw that solo delivery captain, forget his name. From then, all deliveries must have 2 crew: captain and mate. That's where I come in: a willing mate!

Offline

#6 Dec 17, 2020 7:31 pm

houston
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

Interesting story NH. I guess that sailing solo and having to take a piss don't go hand in hand, especially at night and in amongst islands.
Read this story today, it's not exactly a ship but I wonder what became of the crew. Did a rogue wave knock them over while taking a piss?

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/gho … ll-islands

Offline

#7 Dec 17, 2020 7:57 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

Wow, that's a helluva cargo to lose! Those people who found it were wise to turn it in and not try anything stupid. Like a guy I knew of in Barbados years ago, a Grenadian actually. He owned fishing boats, and one day his crew brought home a steel barrel they'd picked up from the sea. When they pried it open it was, of course, cocaine. Instead of turning it over to the police, my boy decides to get clever: he starts to put the word about - I've got product for sale. Well it wasn't long before the word got into the wrong ears, and my guy was found at his apartment, hanging from the rafters, in an "apparent suicide".

"Small boys should not play, with sharp-edged tools"

Offline

#8 Dec 17, 2020 8:03 pm

houston
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

Got wondering recently about sailing ships during the earlier centuries. Some ships would have a crew of up to 180 men and be away for months or years.
How did they stay warm in places like the St. Lawrence River in November? What did they eat, where did they sleep?
That led to the question, where did they do their business?
Of course the head. The bow of the ship was a netted or planked area open to the sea below.  Ropes were dragged along in the water and hauled up for an arse wipe. It was a not a pretty life.
No wonder so many died of disease or malnutrition.
Interesting to read about those unimaginable times.

Offline

#9 Dec 17, 2020 8:26 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

houston wrote:

Got wondering recently about sailing ships during the earlier centuries. Some ships would have a crew of up to 180 men and be away for months or years.
How did they stay warm in places like the St. Lawrence River in November? What did they eat, where did they sleep?
That led to the question, where did they do their business?
Of course the head. The bow of the ship was a netted or planked area open to the sea below.  Ropes were dragged along in the water and hauled up for an arse wipe. It was a not a pretty life.
No wonder so many died of disease or malnutrition.
Interesting to read about those unimaginable times.

Not the bow (front), the stern (rear - pun intended!). I'm a history nerd when it comes to old sailing ships and the men that sailed in them. A hard life for true. A fascinating look at the last of the clipper ships, rounding the feared Cape Horn. Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tuTKhqWZso

Offline

#10 Dec 17, 2020 8:59 pm

Expat
Active

Re: When staying awake means staying alive

Looks a tad bigger than the tea clipper Cutty Sark.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB