The cruising moments you don't expect..... - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 26 Old 02-14-2012
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Now that my overnight passages are *warm* I'm enjoying them a lot more.
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post #12 of 26 Old 02-15-2012 Thread Starter
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The first overnight passage I ever did was wet cold and utterly miserable. I was also completely petrified, it is true what my mama used to say.....the dark does make things just seem real scary.

I seriously thought about beaching the boat, hitting the Epirb and getting a ride with the rescue boys towards a nice long shower. Golfing perhaps seemed like a far more sensible pastime.

I think it took me several overnight passages to get to the point where I actually could enjoy it........and warm balmy sailing under clear skies certainly helped.
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post #13 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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The first overnight passage I ever did was wet cold and utterly miserable. I was also completely petrified, it is true what my mama used to say.....the dark does make things just seem real scary.
Impressive honesty!

In my case, I stupidly wanted to show I could do yachtmaster work at the chart table at 2 a.m. in rough conditions just before we crossed the shipping channels of the English Channel. I did it, and then fought sea sickness for the next eight hours, including when doing a major tack that threw half the crew out of their bunks (to safely avoid three tankers and container ships) and doing a drenching pre-dawn head sail change on the foredeck.

I regret that I haven't had much of the star-filled skies "at one with the universe" syrupy music with the wake filled with phosphorescence type of night sailing yet... (Okay, maybe I don't.)

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Last edited by Jim H; 02-15-2012 at 02:48 AM.
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post #14 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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I think Chall, me old china plate - you've got there. However I can tell you now that after a few years, you'll only record the weather, wind, boat speed, course etc - the rest you'll have stored in your memory.

Later, you'll remember the sound of dolphins breathing, and talking, and you'll know the course is true by the feel of the swell under the boat.


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post #15 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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The first overnight passage I ever did was wet cold and utterly miserable. I was also completely petrified, it is true what my mama used to say.....the dark does make things just seem real scary.
In a related manner, 20 knots of wind on a bright sunny day vs 20 knots of wind on a grey day with low scudding clouds and rain are two VERY different experiences - the latter seeming much more onerous...
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post #16 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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Dawn can be very liberating if it has been a stressful night - crappy weather, traffic, making a landfall - especially combinations of the above.
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Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #17 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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I really enjoy sailing at night. One of my favorite moments was on a sail from Ustica (a beautiful island by the way) to Sardinia. There were three of us and we were doing single watches and, during my watch at night, dolphins were rushing the boat beam on. The bubbles and bioluminescent trails were incredible almost like live torpedoes. Fantastic!
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post #18 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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I love night sailing. Working the bow at night is scary - but really fun...at least in the relatively minor conditions we were in (20 knots and 5-6 footers). I could see where it could be terrifying though.

Even so, the stars, the dolphins, the phosphorescence, the sounds, amazing. The unlit oil rigs...not so much.
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post #19 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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Does overnight racing count?

I don't have any long passages, but I have two races, 55 and 80 miles respectively. Two vastly different experiences:

Eastport to Solomons, Md. on my 3.75ktsb. We were immediately left behind at the starting line and raced alone all night. The sky was crystal clear, and the moon was full and bright all night long. On each tack, the running lights illuminated the foot of the jib eerily, but the water was a beautiful silver. There was only one commercial ship all night. The heavily tilted and inactive Sharp's Island Light loomed over us like a sleeping sentinel at one point. The pink and orange dawn arrived, illuminating James Island, pine trees and pelicans. It was gorgeous.

Governor's Cup (Annapolis to St. Mary's College) on a C&C 35MkIII

In this race, we were in the middle of our competiton all night. It was an ugly, upwind pounding the entire way, with no moon, under a sky of hammered lead. It was somehow comforting to have the running lights of our competition nearby, but it was always nerve-wracking when they'd tack in front of you and their black sails would blot out what little ambient light remained. There were phospherescent jellyfish in the water, that when the hull slammed down, would flash brightly as they slid down along the hull. Dawn brought Point No Point, Point Lookout and the St. Mary's river. We fired up the oven and cooked this delicious cream cheese and sausage breakfast pastry as we raced. Best fed crew in the fleet.

1981 Tartan 33 #168
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post #20 of 26 Old 02-15-2012
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Being on watch at night is a wonderful thing if the conditions are right. Some of my best memories from the Navy are of starry nights watching from the bridge. They mirror my first moonlit night sail on Puget Sound sailing from Everett, WA to Port Ludlow on my Catalina 27. The beauty of a sunset and the peaceful easy feeling of sailing along in the dark is wonderful, but the shipping traffic in the Sound keeps you attentive and ready for anything.
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