Several years ago we nearly put our boat on the beach when attempting Venice Inlet, on the southwest coast of Florida, after dark, an inlet we have traversed many times. On this occasion I had timed our arrival for slack water high so there would be little excitement when we breasted the stone jetties. What we did not know was that a dredging operation was going on just south of the jetty. As we approached, I mistook the red port light on the dredge for the red marker light on the southern most jetty and so ended up headed toward the beach, between the south jetty and the dredge. I realized my error at the last minute when the bottom suddenly came up as a swell subsided and managed a swift 180 with shaking knees and sweaty palms. With that, we said the heck with it and continued on to Tampa Bay, timing our arrival at the entrance to the Manatee River for somewhat after sun-rise..... Even the easiest of inlets can be difficult and confusing at night. In the right conditions you can get turned around even in inlets you've done many times.
I think this is why its so important to make landfall refreshed and well rested. We should be ready and happy to spend a few more nights at sea if the circumstances force us, say, nighttime, a storm, harbour closed etc etcIt became a bit of joke as we crossed the Pacific, almost always we would arrive a few miles from the harbour, anchorage, whatever, about an hour after it got dark.
Yep. I always have both. Radar is also a godsend at night in poor vis. As many tools as you can put to work, including your ears are often helpful. Before GPS, I can remember times, coming into places like New Harbor on Block, when the first indication of land was the sound of surf and decreasing depth! Sometimes in the world of 10' accurate GPS, I think we tend to forget about simple depth as a confirmation of an estimated position.I say:
For the same reasons!
"Legally blind" doesn't always mean you can't see anything. My mother's godson is legally blind but he still has some vision. Sometimes it means you aren't able to get a drivers license but you can still see to a certain extent.I wish i had his balls thats all i have to say. For him every port was pitch dark. Not just night.
In case anyone is confused Len is referring to Eric and Susan Hiscock. Hiscock was for all intents and purposes blind and Susan was his eyes. She was, btw, an accomplished sailor in her own right and continued sailing Wanderer V for many years after Eric did his final shuffle. She later returned to England, went back to sailing dinghies and in her eighties I think it was, she won her first ever race. apparently she had been a champion dinghy sailor in her youth, which is how she met Eric.When I cast off Wanderers line in Victoria,Eric could barely see the bow.Susan was the lookout and they did pretty good.And this was before plotters and pinpoint naving.