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One lesson I've learned on overnight passages, is to try and time them, when possible on a full or nearly full moon. Makes all the difference in the world to me when I do it, to be able to see, at least pretty good, in the direction of the moon. I've sailed on pitch black all nighters, and I really just don't like it, even on vessels I have been on with radar.
 

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Moonless night is the best. More Stars. You will be amaze by how good the nite vision of the human eyes will become.

I have nothing to add except that when scanning the horizons, try to stay on each direction for about 10 sec.
Seeing stars is nice, but being able to see floating debris, or fishing buoys, is even better. :D
 
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