we were sailing from Rome to Stromboli in thre Med...abot 400 nm , when on the second night my wife Miriam woke me up at midnight ..`llok` she said `we are approaching land!` I looked and saw a line of street lights dead ahead. got out of the autohem , turned the boat 180 and dashed to the charts ... no land 200 nm arround ! nothing ! it was very dark, the sea was calm , not a ripple so I took out my binoculass and had a long look at the lights . very slowly did we approach, one eye on the depthsounder, and eyes wide open...at 2 kn we came closer and suddenly realiesd that it was 20 tall lighted sticks on a long tuna fishing net!
they reflected on the calm see just like a low lying shoreline...
it took us 3 hours to sail arround the 10 Mile long Tuna fishing net...
Fishing nets with and without lighting can drive you crazy.
We dodged nets with flashing lights in the Java Sea of Indonesia and off the coast of Malaysia. It makes sailing at night interesting.
There were also long nets without lights making for interesting sailing in the Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea as we were sailing south of Oman. Many yachts sailed into those nets and then spent a few hours cutting the nets away from their props and rudders.
In our 11 year adventure, we dodged plenty of nets, but never got entangled in any of them. We wrapped our props with lines from floats only about three times. We were fortunate.
The real annoying/challenging part of some of these nets is they are constructed in a circular fashion, to move the fish to a central area. Following them in ciricles looking for a break is mind boggling! :)
Some of those nets are very long. Except at night, it's usually possible to spot the floats in the water and detour around the nets. Sometimes the detours are a bit long, but at least you don't get entangled in them.
There are also different types of nets, with some of them being deep enough that you can sail right over them. I never could figure out which of them it was safe to sail over, and so I always tried to go around them if at all possible.
In some places in the world, they don't put out any lights to let you know the nets are there. That's when most of our fellow cruisers have had problems and gotten tangled up in them.
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