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Sailing at night: Everything is closer than it appears but looks so far away until you are on it. If you do not have radar - have AIS as its about as good fore not having radar as you can get (AIS units run $250 and above).

Unless your course is the channel and you are comfortable sailing at night, it can be done - beware above.

Port T is interesting and it is a $15 cab ride to Safeway to replenish... But the locals are interesting and the marina - is no hassle just be aware of winds as it is not a protected harbor in practical senses. I had issues last year trying to dock as the northern winds kept blowing me off and the high free board I have.
 

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Dylan,

As Artbyjody mentioned lights at night can be really confusing. Navigational lights blink, except for range lights, lights on shore are steady, as are lights on ships. The first few times for me running at night were frightening. I never really felt completely comfortable doing it. It would be helpfull if you could go out at night with someone that has experience to see what it is like before just "jumping in" with no experience yourself. Running at night can be very dangerous, especially if you haven't run the course in the daytime before hand.

Dabnis
One thing to note about this transit area - it is a COMMERCIAL transit area. If you do not run with active radar, AIS (class A receiver or the newer Class B Transponders), do either have one or the either:

1. Radar reflector (passive is fine - usually that spherical metal thing you see on most, active versions come as like a VHF antenna as a stick).

2. Or cheat - and use an X-Band Radar Detector plugged in. It will not necessarily alert them (though reported it does - but I never count on it) but it will you. Most (not all) commercial ships generate microwave freqs that set off a decent radar detector.

Run as many lights as you can. I usually use my spreader / work light to illuminate my sails while in transit.

Again, can not stress, it doesn't matter if it blinks, steady on or you think it waves to you. Night-time cruising is where you have to be on top of your game because your distance vision is impaired. Your biggest enemy is other recreational boats that have no real radar, or lighted footprint.

Last year off Whidbey at 2 am -we ran across a boat, but it was not until five minutes before she could of crashed the bow we saw anything that indicated it was a boat. Nighttime - I love it myself - but you have to be on your toes because while commercial is assumed large, a majority are small tugs towing your death threat, the others, have less the lighting you do...

Do it with someone and nighttime sailing in this area is not what you would want to single hand to - unless cognizant to the follies that lie ahead.
 

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Dylan,

As Artbyjody mentioned lights at night can be really confusing. Navigational lights blink, except for range lights, lights on shore are steady, as are lights on ships. The first few times for me running at night were frightening. I never really felt completely comfortable doing it. It would be helpfull if you could go out at night with someone that has experience to see what it is like before just "jumping in" with no experience yourself. Running at night can be very dangerous, especially if you haven't run the course in the daytime before hand.

Dabnis
The biggest issue you'll find - is tows with tug boats. You'll see nav lights think you got it and its a tow boat with a 350 yd tow behind. One of the biggest issues I lecture on is towing - and you'll get alot of that in your experience.. You never want to be one that crosses a tow chain / rope...
 
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