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Old 24-07-2012, 21:49   #1
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night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

I often get out at night. This time of year, it is much cooler(at night)! Also, I feel like I have the world to myself (because I cannot see very far!). I am a bit of a night owl to begin with and have really been getting out late more than early. Last week, finished up tying the boat up at 4:30am! Some of the most beautiful sailing I have ever done. Just got in tonight at 11:30pm from a great sail and a beautiful sunset and steady winds

...life is good.
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Old 24-07-2012, 22:13   #2
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

Love night sailing... but not getting enough..
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Old 25-07-2012, 01:45   #3
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

I love night sailing in crystal clear skies, but venus always catches me out for a bit, is it a star? is it a boat? no its bloody venus again!
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Old 25-07-2012, 01:52   #4
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pirate Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

Had some beautiful night sails... but definitely not on moonless cloudy nights in a F8.....
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Old 25-07-2012, 02:28   #5
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

I too really like night sailing, but the last week had the shock of my life approaching Moelfre anchorage. Blowing about 6 to 7, overcast with light rain, beating to windward. Got a little lift approaching the bay, and was able to point more towards the bay, came around about 15 degrees, and about a minute later this blacked out ship slid down the starboard side about 20 feet away. It was at anchor, not a single light on, maybe they had a genny problem, but it took a couple of hours for me to get over the shock. If I had not been able to alter course when I did, most likely would have run into it
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Old 25-07-2012, 04:31   #6
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Had some beautiful night sails... but definitely not on moonless cloudy nights in a F8.....
I'm with Phil, on this one.
I like "idyllic" sailing, day or night.
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Old 25-07-2012, 05:11   #7
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

Night sailing - I had a similar experience crossing the Gulf of Ageciras when visibility was low. Calling Gibraltar asking for help did give a slight relieve. It was all free to cross according to their radar.

It was my watch and I saw a very tiny red light proceeding, facing our course.
A huge shadow passed us on a distance of 50 meters, being at least a 20.000 tonner.
The only lights were the red and green, hardly visible - and no other lights were on. None.

The only explanation was that it was a black op of some country. Normally freighters of that tonnage are burning X-mas trees.

But I love night sailing.
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Old 25-07-2012, 05:45   #8
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

Have a fond memory of being alone in the cockpit on 50 foot Morgan at 3 am sailing around the north tip of the big island of Hawaii. All of a sudden I heard someone breathing. Scared me at first until I realized it was a pod of dolphins keeping me company. A great memory!

The there was the time in Block Island Sound. I was heading for a lighted buoy that all of a sudden started to get hazier and hazier until it disappeared completely as a fog rolled in. I never saw darkness like that! It was a memory but, not a fond one. Glad I had radar on board.

After nineteen years working a midnight shift I tend to enjoy a good nights sleep now and try to be at anchor before sunset these days. But, if I am sailing at night the stars are an enjoyable perk on clear nights.
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Old 25-07-2012, 06:28   #9
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

I used to love night sailing on the San Francisco Bay...

Then we started fulltime cruising and headed south through Mexico and Central America. That is when night sailing became work!

All of these countries, have fishermen running around in 25 boats (Pangas) in the middle of the night, most without any navigation lights, except Costa Rica, were they would usually have a small white solid or flashing light about the sie of a pen light.

We had one near miss with a panga off the coast of Guatamala... My wife was on watch and there was no moon... She was adjusting the main sheet when she saw a black spot on the water.... She turned the boat just in time to see a panga float down the port side with three sleeping fisherman inside. She missed them by about 6 feet.

Also since Nicaruaga, we have been sailing in the rainny season down here... Because of the heavy down pours, the rivers flush everything into the ocean. We have seen 40 foot trees with root balls floating in the water, as well as barrels, docks and other garbage.

Off Costa Rica, at 0200 hrs I struck something and as it passed and I swore it was an upside down panga. I did a reciprical course looking for survivors and discovered a 20 foot log with a 4 foot long branch, resembling an upside down outbord motor. No damage to our boat, but I surely didn't need any more coffee as the adrenaline kept me wide awake the rest of the night.
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Old 25-07-2012, 06:44   #10
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Re: night sailing vs. day sailing...what do you prefer

Single handing from the panhandle of Florida to the Bahamas this spring I made six overnight passages and loved every second of being out there alone under star filled skies. I even enjoyed the one night of overcast and a brief but vicious squall. Being alone in the middle of the ocean in a tiny boat at night redefines "alone".

It would not have been as pleasant without radar, for there are many things to bump into even in the middle of the ocean.
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