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Adventurer Dan stirs up controversy about how he slept on his yacht: traveling alone on a boat


A young sailor has sparked controversy after he shared a surprising photo of the “horrific” way he fell asleep while traveling alone on his yacht.

Dan, from New York, has been on solo adventures since 2014 and has traveled through the likes of the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

He refuses to use autopilot on his yacht and only sleeps for 15 minutes by the time he sails alone.

The man puts on his sails and rudder, then sleeps for 15 minutes before the alarm goes off.

Once awake, Dan checks his surroundings for other boats and waterborne debris, checks the progress of his sailing on track, and eats a snack before lying down for a few more minutes.

Dan (pictured), from New York, has been venturing solo since 2014 and has traveled across the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and more

The self-titled “Man of Adventure” is currently cruising through the Bahamas in the Caribbean.


Do you think Dan is safe while sailing?

  • Yes – his process seems to be working perfectly 17 votes
  • No – he can seriously harm himself and others 14 votes

Talk openly about the highs and lows of traveling alone, especially when it comes to finding a safe way to sleep.

And wrote in a mail. “Especially when I’ve been cruising all night and getting beat up.”

So, in order to rest and enjoy the peace, I usually find a comfortable way to sleep while cruising – which definitely took some time to master.

Dan was particularly worried about bumping into things in his sleep because of the high stakes involved.

“The thought of hitting something could be the end of my house, all of my worldly possessions (that I own), and myself.”

A young sailor has revealed that he refuses to use autopilot on his yacht and only sleeps for 15 minutes while he's sailing alone.

A young sailor has revealed that he refuses to use autopilot on his yacht and only sleeps for 15 minutes while he’s sailing alone.

The advance routine of a traveler rarely changes when he is on a long journey.

Dan sets course first, trims and balances his sails to close range, then locks the rudder downwind.

“I can lie down for a comfortable, quiet rest… for at least 15 minutes,” he said. “Then the alarm goes off, I check my surroundings for other boats and waterborne debris, sailing progress and current heading, snack a bit, reset the alarm, and repeat.”

The man revealed that his operation recently brought him through an 18-hour corridor to Saint Martin in the Caribbean.

“This is how I navigate a lot when I’m on my own,” Dan added after explaining.

A woman was worried about the sailor not having a life jacket in the photo, and wondered if he had a way to secure himself in the boat.

“Tell me you have a little tie or tie yourself?” she asked him. “Snipped in some way, somewhere, just in case an evil wave appears.”

Another man admitted he might not want one for safety reasons.

“In the situation (Dan) has put himself in, I’d rather not be tied up and drowned in the boat if a rogue wave hits.”

Maritime law which particularly affects solo travelers

The Convention on International Regulations to Prevent Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) provides that:

  • Every ship shall at all times maintain proper watch by sight and hearing as well as by all appropriate available means in the prevailing conditions and conditions in order to make a full assessment of the situation and risk of collision.

Australian Navy requirements:

  • Everyone 12 years of age or older must wear a life jacket on vessels less than 4.8 meters when boating alone, at night, or in alpine or open ocean waters.
  • All vessels must proceed at a speed that is safe for the prevailing conditions and maintain a safe distance from persons in the water, other craft, structures and the shore at all times. You should also observe any signposted speed limits.
  • NSW and Victoria follow international practices for safe navigation and this includes maintaining a safe speed, maintaining proper watch at all times, using appropriate navigation lights at night and staying to the right in rivers and canals.
  • On lakes, the direction of travel is counterclockwise unless otherwise noted. If in doubt, consult the relevant waterway manager and follow approved signage.

source: Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Dan claimed that his “cat nap” was better than autopilot because his method did not use electricity or autopilot motor fatigue and prevented a “squeaking noise” from moving the rudder.

The man also said his bed was never wet even though several waves fell a few feet from his face.

“It’s an exciting feeling: to be warm and cozy under the[woolen]blankets, out of the wind, just inches from the water.”

“There is no nap like it on earth!”

Dan also shared that his bed never got wet even though several waves crashed a few feet from his face

Dan also shared that his bed never got wet even though several waves crashed a few feet from his face

Dan and his kitesurfing adventures have fascinated many.

If you have downwind guidance which I see you are ready for, and an AIS (Automatic Identification System)/radar alert, you’ll be safe.

When the sails are trimmed and everything is balanced, you’re all set! People also die on the couch – life is for the living.

“Well done! 15 minutes is just about the time limit. A fast container ship will be right above you within 20 minutes beyond your view of the horizon.

I could almost taste the salt spray. You are really living the dream. The fact that you know your machine and your process so well deserves those happy naps.

But others advised him to take extra safety precautions.

One of the men said, “One of the first things you learn as a professional navigator is that a good watch by sight and sound must be kept at all times.”

One-handed sailing is dangerous for this very reason. You cannot maintain surveillance when it is in progress.

‘amazing! As a professional navigator, I hope we will never meet. It is criminal to not maintain proper monitoring.

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