Question asked by Webmaster:

How do you go get to sleep? Asked by Lachie, Hawkesdale, Australia


Sleep on this boat, in the four trans-Atlantic passages that I’ve done for practice, is difficult. For 20 years, I sailed trimarans that were level and stable. This boat is a monohull, and it heels, so if I sleep at the navigation table bench, and the boat heels, I slide sideways onto my feet. The two bunks are difficult to get into because they are behind compartment walls and you have to crawl through a small opening, plus, from the bunk, you can’t see the instruments and know what is going on with the wind. So we’re trying two new solutions. We have two triangular cushions for the chart table bench that keep my back up a bit, and one triangle for under the knees, which will keep me from sliding. These are comfortable, and in the early going, seemed a sure improvement. Plus we have a big beanbag, highly recommended by other skippers, since you can throw it anywhere and just crumple into it. It is made of synthetic porous material, so it’s OK if it gets wet–if you’ve come from deck in wet foul weather gear. The beanbag is pretty comfortable and a second improvement.

I am also recording my sleep patterns with something called ActiWatch. ActiWatch is a recording accelerometer (equipment that can tell when I am laying down) that I wear on my wrist. The data that is recorded by the watch can be downloaded and analyzed. Prof. Dava Newmant at MIT will be looking at the data, and our sleep specialist Dr. Chuck Czeisler will be as well. I haven’t settled into a sleep routine yet, given the chaos at the start of the race, but I am hoping to sleep regularly soon.