Chesapeake at night - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree12Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-13-2012
BubbleheadMd's Avatar
Chastened
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Edgewater/Annapolis
Posts: 2,832
Thanks: 0
Thanked 51 Times in 47 Posts
Rep Power: 5
BubbleheadMd will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Yahoo to BubbleheadMd
Chesapeake at night

Any of you locals sail at night? I'm sure PDQ has, so I'll direct the question at the rest of you.

I've logged 4 overnight distance races, but last night was my first singlehand night sail, just plodding home from Annapolis City Dock.

It's amazing, the personality change that the Chesapeake undergoes at night. It was quite different from racing with crew on a Friday night. No other competitors around, no recreational traffic. No one talking, the radio was mostly silent.

I wish I could have kept going.
Bene505 likes this.
__________________
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-13-2012
jsaronson's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 837
Thanks: 2
Thanked 23 Times in 23 Posts
Rep Power: 3
jsaronson is on a distinguished road
Re: Chesapeake at night

it is different and peaceful, but also more challenging. Running lights are not that visible. Crab pots and debris are invisible. Winds are even more fickle. But on the right night, it is great!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 08-13-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Severna Park
Posts: 437
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
sneuman is on a distinguished road
Re: Chesapeake at night

In some ways, it's easier sailing at night. All the "clutter" is gone. The important thing, in the Chesapeake especially, is knowing your navigation lights. You absolutely must understand what a tug towing (or pushing) a barge looks like. The cruise ships can be difficult because they are lit up like Christmas trees and it's often hard to pick out running lights from that mess of illumination.
SVAuspicious likes this.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 08-13-2012
nickmerc's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: O'Fallon, MO
Posts: 563
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 6
nickmerc is on a distinguished road
Re: Chesapeake at night

When I was in Annapolis, I used to sail more at night than during the day. I would get home from work, eat dinner, then head out for several hours. I found it delightful, relaxing, and peaceful. You really need to keep track of where you are. Not only do the nav lights on other boats blend in to the back ground, but navigational aids as well.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 08-13-2012
BubbleheadMd's Avatar
Chastened
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Edgewater/Annapolis
Posts: 2,832
Thanks: 0
Thanked 51 Times in 47 Posts
Rep Power: 5
BubbleheadMd will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Yahoo to BubbleheadMd
Re: Chesapeake at night

Yes, there's quite a bit of light pollution and clutter. Navigation aids tend to disappear into it when you're driving towards shore.
__________________
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 08-13-2012
travlineasy's Avatar
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,277
Thanks: 3
Thanked 56 Times in 46 Posts
Rep Power: 4
travlineasy will become famous soon enough
Re: Chesapeake at night

Over the years I've logged thousands of hours navigating Chesapeake Bay at night. During that time I've experienced many, many things that can be somewhat frightening, the least of which is tangling up a crab pot in the prop. Commercial traffic at night is fairly heavy in the bay's upper reaches, mainly north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridges at Sandy Point. Lots of barges, both towed and pushed, some as far north as Havre de Grace.

If you're out in the bay during the July 4th fireworks displays, you can often watch a half-dozen at the same time, which is really neat. Another form of fireworks that I wasn't prepared for came from Aberdeen Proving Ground when they had a night-firing exercise using tracer ammunition. Kind of scary hearing a massive boom, then watching a brilliant, red meteor soar 15 miles up the bay toward Spetiua Island and explode.

In the middle bay near Solomons one stormy night I encountered a tug towing a barge near the mouth of the Patuxent River. All of the sudden, the tug turned off it's towing lights, made a U-turn right in front of me, and headed back up the bay. The barge, however, was still there - just floating free with one tiny light that you could barely see. It almost appeared to be a kerosene lantern. The was a guy standing next to the lantern holding a flashlight and waving us off. About 10 minutes later, another tug from somewhere down south hooked up a towing cable to the barge, turned on his tow lights, and headed south. I later discovered this is not an uncommon practice.

The closest bad encounter I had was near Tilghman Island at about midnight. My wife and I had been up the Choptank at Oxford, visiting with my cousin, and we all had dinner at an upscale restaurant that had no prices on the menu. (He insisted on buying and I didn't argue the point.) We got underway about 7 p.m.. there was a brilliant full moon and I decided to sail downriver, then head north and spend the night anchored in the lee of Poplar Island. I was nearly 3/4-mile west of Tilghman Island when I turned north, the moon was beginning to set and we were sailing very comfortably at about 6-knots. My wife hates sailing at night, she was petrified. All of the sudden, just 50-feet from the bow, hundreds of pound-net stakes came into view. I swerved to starboard, rounded up and the boat stopped about 6 inches from the stakes. I fired up the engine, turned on the spotlight, eased away from the net and motor-sailed out into the main channel. There were no lights on the net at all.

Unfortunately, there are lots of unmarked pound nets and old pound net stakes throughout the Chesapeake's middle and lower reaches. Additionally, there are some unmarked U.S. Naval Target Ships in locations near Point Lookout, Smith Point and Tangier Island, ships that have been blasted away to where there is nothing visible above the surface, but just a few inches below the surface those rusted, steel beams can easily rip the bottom out of any vessel of any size. One that immediately comes to mind is the San Marcos Wreck, which many years ago was a favored fishing spot for catching big flounder, weakfish and blowfish. There used to be a marker buoy there, but it was removed about 20 years ago.

While I still love sailing at night, I try to avoid it now - too many close calls. I hope to install 3G Broadband Radar in the next few months, which will at least allow me to see the things above the water.

Cheers,

Gary
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 08-13-2012
4arch's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 461
Thanks: 0
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 6
4arch is on a distinguished road
Re: Chesapeake at night

On nights when a steady breeze holds up it's nice to be out as the wind seems to take on a smooth laminar flow you don't often find during the heat of the day. The confused and steep chop caused by wakes settles down and things go pleasantly quiet. Out on the water also seems to be the place to see the most amazing sunsets.

I appreciate the tales of near encounters with commercial traffic and unlit fishing gear and obstructions, but I honestly think I'd rather deal with those things anytime than to be in open water with good depth a half mile plus on all sides and still have powerboats blowing by at full speed 50 feet from my bow on weekend afternoons. I was out this weekend on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and had it happen 2 or 3 times. Drives me nuts.
SVAuspicious and wingNwing like this.
__________________
s/v Spindrift
Beneteau Oceanis 400
formerly Lippincott 30
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 08-13-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 2,019
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 9
PalmettoSailor will become famous soon enough
Re: Chesapeake at night

My night sailing experience is also pretty limited but one of the areas where I want to continue to develop my knowledge. So far its mostly been racing and "overnight" vs. a night arrival except a few times arriving at our home marina well after dark.

I haven't yet been in the situation of needing to navigate a less familar creek entrance or anchorage so haven't had to deal with nav lights blending with shore lights and the like. I also have the advantage of having sailed out of the southern bay for several years and now mid bay for a few years so I generally have some knowledge of the western shore from Annapoils down to Mobjack Bay which adds some comfort when sailing at night, at least when I know we'll be underway until daylight. Entering an anchorage and setting the hook in the dark does hold quite a bit of trepidation for me at this point.
__________________
PalmettoSailor
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36

Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 08-14-2012 at 05:52 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 08-13-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Milton, DE
Posts: 593
Thanks: 2
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Flybyknight is on a distinguished road
Re: Chesapeake at night

What Travlineasy said:

Chesapeake Bay, in vicinity of Bloodsworth Island, MD, U.S. Navy.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 08-14-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 282
Thanks: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 8
norsearayder is on a distinguished road
Re: Chesapeake at night

sailing offshore at nite is awesome,everything is muted,just you and the moon,i usually choose to stay offshore until dawn if iam fetching an unfamiliar harbor.with that in mind some of the inlets can get hairy at nite with the wrong tide current and wind.also at nite my debth perception and general vision go down hill
Flybyknight likes this.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Atlantic City to Norfolk Friday night to Sunday night ksetchfield Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 3 10-15-2011 10:35 AM
Here is one for the night.. Giulietta General Discussion (sailing related) 31 09-18-2007 07:00 PM
night at sea capnsamuels General Discussion (sailing related) 16 10-05-2006 11:56 AM
A Little Night Magic Bruce Caldwell Learning to Sail Articles 0 03-09-2001 07:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:51 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.