Originally Posted by waterwks4me
JonEisberg, as to your comment concerning those that have for a brief moment of time couldn't quite distinguish a dim light to a masthead anchor light from a distance should refrain from sailing at night, was quite harsh even with your (grin) tacked on at the end. I guess you took it to read that we can't distinguish the difference until we run smack into the so called starship. Of course all of this could have been avoided if the boat had another light visible other than the quasi star at the top of his mast. (grin) By the way love the picture of the yacht alone at anchor.
Nah, wasn't meant to be harsh, perhaps it's just me... (grin)
I've sailed in a few spots with minimal light pollution, and where the stars shine brightly pretty low to the horizon, but the chances of mistaking a typical anchor light with one at a distance seem a bit low, to me... I've spent nights in Elizabeth Harbor in Georgetown, Exumas, for example, in the midst of 350+ other boats, and I think it was still pretty easy to distinguish most of them from the stars... At least, not before the combination of rum drinks and sea stories being swapped really started to add up...
As Maine Sail suggests, it's possible if someone is showing a tiny, dim light, I suppose... One thing you mentioned jumps out at me, however - the fact that you were struggling a bit to look out and around from beneath a cockpit bimini at the time... I absolutely HATE having to deal with that sort of impediment to visibility at night, and can certainly understand that when poking your head out from underneath intermittently, such confusion about lights can exist...
Of course, favoring uncrowded anchorages, or holes that can accomodate only one boat, problem solved... (grin)