Transiting the West Coast of the United States was our first voyage in the “new to us” Sea Eagle. With the short weather windows that appear on the “Left Coast” and the very constrained schedules of our crew, we decided to run non-stop for the entire trip.
With a four person crew, each would stand two, 3 hour watches per day. The most experienced members of the crew, licensed Captains Scott Boyd and Mike Ferguson, stood the 00:00 to 03:00 and 03:00 to 06:00 watches, followed by Jim Randall from 06:00 to 09:00 and Janet Boyd from 09:00 to noon. Jim worked double duty the entire trip, staying up with Janet (the least experienced) to make sure she always had help available if she didn’t understand something on the Radar.
Radar, AIS and a dark pilothouse are some of the tools for a successful night passage. Notice the Blackout Curtain on the ceiling of the pilothouse in the photo above. This keeps the glare from the instruments from reflecting off of the white ceiling and helps significantly with the watch stander’s night vision, as does the red interior courtesy lights.
Engine room checks were performed every hour for the first 24 hours underway, then we reduced the checks to once or twice per three hour watch. During the 5.5 days underway, the only issue that had to be addressed was a leak in the steering system components that had just been installed by the yard.
The three hour watches are easy on the crew, allow for plenty of rest and relaxation. Here you can see some of the crew reading and relaxing in the pilothouse. It’s a tough life, isn’t it? 😉