Day time is no different than evening offshore
in terms of encountering hazards on a collision
course. But you can see better... obviously.
One problem with single
handing off shore in *popular* regions like the Caribbean
is that with GPS
precision... and quality autopilots... especially AP driven by GPS
is that vessels on reciprocal source have a good probability of a head
... even when they are navigating between distant islands.
I encountered this when I set out from English
Harbor one morning quite early to sail to Deshais, Guadeloupe
about 55 miles to the south if I recall
. It was a beam reach and I set the way point and get the AP on a track straight as an arrow.. no xtrack error. Wonderful sail! At mid day I went below to prepare a lunch thinking I was 25 miles from both islands and out there alone! But as I was down in the galley
I looked through a portlite above the stove and a boat whizzed by about 50 feet away!
I jumped up to the cockpit
and saw his stern disappear toward Antigua
... a Beneteau charter
boat with no one in the cockpit
... They were probably down below preparing lunch too... and probably had set the waypoint for English
Harbor and were also on a beam reach. We were traveling on the same *road* between Deshais and English Harbor in opposite directions. Had we been in the cockpit and on watch either of us would have seen the collision approach and taken action. But we were both below decks doing lunch prep. YIKES!
This is a hazard that shipping
lanes and APs and GPS have created. It's even more a common problem in coastal waters.. where so many use the same waypoints (buoys or published in cruising guides) and are running reciprocal courses. LOTS OF 'EM. Block Island to Watch Hill R2 is a very well travel *road*. Watch out! Maybe the name Watch Hill was prophetic?
All sorts of audible alarms are helpful. Use them!