Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-11-2013, 18:56   #1
Registered User
 
sww914's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Punta De Mita
Boat: Vagabond 39 Hull # 1
Posts: 1,842
Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

We plan, as you do, to make our destination by nightfall. It doesn't always work. I've heard that many people avoid coming into a harbor after dark. We haven't done that. We study the charts and the lights and come in slowly and haven't had a problem. Cruising from Alameda, Ca to the Banderas Bay, here's the ports that we entered at night-
Half Moon Bay
Santa Cruz, the light on the breakwater was broken and our GPS was broken and we missed the whole harbor once or twice.
Monterey
Morro Bay, full moon, in my mind now it was as bright as daylight.
Port San Luis Obispo, bad idea.
Istmus Cove, Catalina, scary at night.
Marina Del Ray, stupid cops running the harbor who know nothing about boats.
Isthmus Cove again, but daylight this time
Newport Beach
Dana Point, just after sunset
San Diego, day & night
Ensenada, Cruiseport Village
Turtle Bay, daytime only, I would have waited for daylight.
Bahia Magdalena, daytime, again I would have waited.
Cabo San Lucas, right at sunrise. Worst place to stop on the whole trip.
Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta, dark black night with no slip assigment. :0
Marina La Cruz, several times at night without any issues, very well marked.
All in all, fond memories of every entrance!
__________________

__________________
Steve
http://www.landfallvoyages.com
sww914 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2013, 19:44   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,006
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

It's the one that you don't have fond memories of entering after dark that will ruin your cruise.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2013, 19:57   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Montegut LA.
Boat: Now we need to get her to Louisiana !! she's ours
Posts: 3,421
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

If we have never been there before, at least everywhere but well maintained USA harbors. We wait for daylight! Of course it depends alot on where ya are ! In the South Pacific, where coral reefs are present, waiting for light is always best! I never use a plotter for harbor entrances, prefer harbor charts and my eyeballs!! We have ran many harbors at night, but only those we have been into during daylight! Always better to be safe then sorry !! Just our 2 cents
__________________
Bob and Connie
bobconnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2013, 21:28   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,830
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

I love having a good radar.
We entered Bahia Los Muertos in total darkness for the first time and had no problem.
Same thing for Marina Mazatlan with the hard left turn into the jetty in shallow water.
Dark as all get out. Radar and GPS + a decent sounder kept the heart in my throat in working order!
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2013, 21:44   #5
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,334
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

Radar, chart plotter, and depthsounder aren't going to help you into places like Lautoka. You would be crazy to move in those waters except between 10 am and 4 pm.
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2013, 23:54   #6
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

I came into Apollo Bay (Bass Strait, Australia) at 3 in the morning, as I did not know better.

I had carefully prepared copious notes on the leading lights, memorised and marked relevant pages of the Admiralty Charts and even pre-entered the turning points on the chart plotter.

What I was utterly un-prepared for was a bizarre optical illusion that made it appear as a big fence had been erected across the entrance to the harbour. Logic said I was wrong, and every other crew member said I was wrong, but my eyes were telling me emphatically that the fence was there. It was only the trust in my crew that gave me the strength to throttle up and proceed.

Of course, there was no fence.

I mentioned it a few hours later at the harbourmaster's office and got a very funny look, until one of his team piped up from the back and told us he had experienced exactly the same thing, some kind of light pattern from the buildings on the foreshore.

My point is, that was the LAST thing I would have prepared for, and it was seriously unnerving. From now on I will try like mad to approach unknown harbours during daylight.

Matt
__________________
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 02:18   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Underway in the Med -
Boat: Jeanneau 40 DS SoulMates
Posts: 1,904
Images: 1
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

as far as it can remember we have only come in to 1 port in the dark -- we simply don't do it and will lay off or anchor well short of the port - we simply do not want to take the risk and do all our planning to avoid it --

However - we will leave in the dark - we lay a track when we come in and if we leave in the dark use the track to get out
__________________
just our thoughts and opinions
chuck and svsoulmates
In Marmaris Turkey for the winter
chuckr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 02:47   #8
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,332
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I came into Apollo Bay (Bass Strait, Australia) at 3 in the morning, as I did not know better.

I had carefully prepared copious notes on the leading lights, memorised and marked relevant pages of the Admiralty Charts and even pre-entered the turning points on the chart plotter.

What I was utterly un-prepared for was a bizarre optical illusion that made it appear as a big fence had been erected across the entrance to the harbour. Logic said I was wrong, and every other crew member said I was wrong, but my eyes were telling me emphatically that the fence was there. It was only the trust in my crew that gave me the strength to throttle up and proceed.

Of course, there was no fence.

I mentioned it a few hours later at the harbourmaster's office and got a very funny look, until one of his team piped up from the back and told us he had experienced exactly the same thing, some kind of light pattern from the buildings on the foreshore.

My point is, that was the LAST thing I would have prepared for, and it was seriously unnerving. From now on I will try like mad to approach unknown harbours during daylight.

Matt
I had the opposite experience, was entering Mooloolaba at night. I was (or had been) quite familiar with it and it posed no dangers or threats. However I had away for a year and when entering a mile or so off, I was amazed at all the progress that had occurred, there were dozens of new lights on the southern shore whereas previously this had just been a wooded area and thus was dark at night.

I attended to readying the boat for docking at the marina inside the entrance and a few minutes later looked up at bludi big well light up cruise ship maybe a cable away at the most. I was about to T bone it. Guess what was behind the anchored ship, yep, the dark wooded area.

Not a proud moment but one that taught me a valuable lesson with pride being the only cost
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 13:16   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Noank CT
Boat: Dufour 2800
Posts: 56
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

On a delivery to Belize, we stopped at an island (Guayana) off Honduras. We have been beating all day and night in foul weather and just wanted to get some sleep. So we decided to go into a bay on the lee side of the island at around 3 AM. We successfully made our way in, dropped the anchor and flopped into our bunks. After sunrise we found we had anchored about 10 meters away from a big chunk of reef.
Lesson learned: don't go where you can't see and don't know what lies ahead.
Common sense is not all that common when yer knackered.
__________________
Craig Cape Town is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 13:26   #10
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,776
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

ensenada harbor...followed a freighter into port.. hoped they wouldnt go aground in front of me, midnite 30,..... cabo..had local knowledge, in chubasco at 0530, local knowledge to inside mazatlan old harbor, and mazatlan marina entrance(high tide, 1400ish)....punta mita 0300, la cruz daytime...circled the anchorage looking for friends and missed the 3 ft deep rock by mere inches..lol......many bays at dusk...and zihuat sin fuel at darker than inside cow time, no problem,other than inablity to see anchor lights in that place. was a jewelry box, all light up for christmas........
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 13:44   #11
Registered User
 
Gerrycooper56's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Tayana 52
Posts: 232
Going into the St.Johns river past Mayport around midnight coming back from Bahamas on a very dark night. Dead ahead was pitch black with 'normal' riverbank lighting however the river bank lighting started to move - dead ahead was a car carrier turning around and we had seen it when it was across the river. If it hadn't turned we may have ploughed into it.
__________________
Gerrycooper56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 14:22   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

So far I've managed to do daytime for everything that's new to me. I usually ballpark the time it will take, and then leave with plans to arrive at dawn. So:

100 miles I'll estimate 30 hours, so I'll leave super early in the morning (like ~4am-ish), which means I'd arrive around 8am the following day. If I'm over on my planning by 12 hours, I'll still have daylight. If I'm early I can slow down or just eat time some way to show up in day time.

Regarding radar and assorted gizmos, they don't do squat for identifying fishing floats, lines, moving sand bars, or some dude diving in the wee early hours with an inner tube float. Things can be charted wrong (like they are in Mexico) making paper or electronic charts suspect, and radars offer false readings of low lying coastlines.

If you're talking about a first-world harbor that's well marked with RACON buoys and accurate charts, that's another thing. I'd enter San Diego (or Avalon, or Long Beach, or anything around there) at night drunk with a flu, but I've gone in and out of those a dozen times and feel comfortable. Some third-world unmarked poorly charted bay with shoal waters, rocks, and low lying beaches? Screw that. Daytime.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 14:29   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

Here's a guy we saw in the pre-dawn hours who would paddle out of the estuary in San Blas, Nayarit, fish, then paddle back in. No way you're picking him up on radar. He'd have the signature of a pelican.



Another engine-less fisherman in Matanchen:

__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2013, 14:48   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Edmonds, WA
Boat: 19T Gaff Cutter
Posts: 87
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

Amen Reb ! once bitten twice shy, stand off and continue watches.



If you're talking about a first-world harbor that's well marked with RACON buoys and accurate charts, that's another thing. I'd enter San Diego (or Avalon, or Long Beach, or anything around there) at night drunk with a flu, but I've gone in and out of those a dozen times and feel comfortable. Some third-world unmarked poorly charted bay with shoal waters, rocks, and low lying beaches? Screw that. Daytime.[/QUOTE]
__________________
Stonefloat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2013, 21:52   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,433
Re: Planning to Make Port by Nightfall?

Papeete Mid 70s. Arrived at night, hove too about 15 miles out. Morning time, no wind, finally came through the pass about 1300 hrs with overcast and light winds. Could not see the reefs at all. Later found out that they had great range lights , and was safer to enter at night. 15 years later coming into Colon Panama at night. So many lights that the range lights were very hard to pick out. Finally figured it out and entered. Coast pilots or sailing directions can tell you about range lights , but they often dont tell you that there are hundreds of lights in the same vicinity. With a few exceptions, first entry in daylight is better. Just my 2 cents worth. _____Grant.
__________________

__________________
gjordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:04.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.