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Old 31-07-2012, 19:58   #1
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Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

I have never done an overnight trip when I cannot see what is ahead of me. Last weekend I left Miami at 2am for a trip north offshore and really enjoyed it.

Here is my question for the seasoned boaters out there: What is your opinion on night time travel?
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:01   #2
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

It's sort of necessary if you want to get any distance offshore. For us to get to any sort of nice cruising grounds is 6-7 days 24 hours a day.
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:06   #3
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

Nothing more inspiring than a good breeze running offshore under a full moon. There's just no other experience like it. Chuck
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:07   #4
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

Quote:
What is your opinion on night time travel?
At least most of the loony power boats are off the water. You are still obligated by the same rules of the road as well as the "don't hit anything rule". Commercial boats will be moving faster than you are so you need to stay defensive in planning your route.

It always helps to plan arrivals in the day light. Clearing customs and immigration in other countries is usally a day light thing. Arriving when you mean to may not always be possible but if you can it helps. Setting the departure time so the arrival time makes sense is just a good idea if the passage is short. Larger ports at night can be very confusing so some planning is needed too.
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:08   #5
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

... and the stars can be even more spectacular without the full moon! I love a good meteor shower on overnight passages!
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:10   #6
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

Night sailing is my personal favorite and if you head offshore is something you must enjoy or you will have many a nervous night. Traveling at night under power is not my idea of fun. When you hit something you can't see under power, you probably are going to do some damage. Also, fouling props is a popular pastime for traveling under power after dark. You would be amazed at the floating junk out there that is easy to avoid during the day.
!2-4am was always my favorite watch and when working commercially when I was a kid, that was the watch I usually drew so got used to it if we were travelling somewhere or towing something.
Sailing at night is almost magical... another plus is you can't see the hugh seas that would scare the hell out of you during the day. Just my opinion... Capt Phil
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:16   #7
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

I've had good experiences at night. Like sailing around the north tip of Hawaii and hearing the dolphins breathing along side the boat as we sailed along.
Then I've had some not so good experiences like running into a fog bank in the wee hours. I've never seen darkness like that! It's unerving until you get use to it. Radar definitively helped that night.
But, on a clear night the stars are fantastic even far off thunderstorms are fascinating to watch as long as the stay far off.
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:31   #8
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

dangerous stuff sailing at night,ive heard reports of cruisers dropping all sails and going to bed............
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Old 31-07-2012, 20:57   #9
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

Sometimes an early start is necessary depending on physical circumstances. Where I am, high tide is around 0100 and it is advisable to start then when under sail during slack water and let the ebb flow help you along to the open sea as the tide goes out. If you start at dawn, you have have low tide and have to worry about flood flow as the tide comes in. If winds are light, one might easily have to motor out rather than sail. Coming into port one may want to come in with the tide instead.
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Old 31-07-2012, 22:28   #10
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

Some of my favorite hours to be on watch. If the weathers good and the sky is clear you can get the stars, moon rise or set, and sun rise all in one watch....then have a cup of coffee, some breakfast, and crawl into your bunk.
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Old 31-07-2012, 22:53   #11
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

A good autopilot and the right seasickness medicine (Stugeron) or calm seas, and I am good to go. Put a headlamp on and put your watch on the headlamp with the alarm going off in your ear every 8 minutes. Take a healthy look around and another nap. Radar and AIS makes things a little more comforting as well.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:37   #12
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Agree- you sometimes need to leave early to reach your destination during the daylight. It's safer & easier (you can plan it out during day) to leave an anchorage in the dark than to enter a new place in dark. We also travel 24 hrs a day so for us it's part of going places.

Sailing on a moonless night and seeing the phosphorescent trails as dolphin swim alongside the boat is amazing. It is so very peaceful as well.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:43   #13
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

night time sailing is awesomest. i love it. stars, moon, silence--is wonderful! flying fish on deck......watching porpoises swimming in the waves as they pass your hull under full moon--awesome
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:01   #14
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

For those who have been there, just think of all the things you see between 4am and sunrise!!!
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:04   #15
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Re: Question: 12am -6am Sailing/Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
For those who have been there, just think of all the things you see between 4am and sunrise!!!
Yeah, who needs mind altering substances
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