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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I love it, night sailing...you can really feel the air, and there is no way to see the wind in the water...kinda like sailing with the "force"..I really love it..your senses get sharper too...

As you get near the Sagres Cape...it gets really scary....and you can hear everything...then the sun comes up...

enjoy..





















 

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the pointy end is the bow
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We meet a couple each summer up in Desolation Sound. He brings the boat up from Portland and then she and the rest of the family get on in the Puget Sound. He showed me his wedding band. It had a flat spot on it. It happened on one of his first night sails coming up the coast. He had such a tight grip on the wheel, he crushed his ring. That story had quite an impact on me.
 

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I have mostly done night sails on our ancient 27' Tartan on our local river (Hudson) when there is a full moon and I have always enjoyed that. When I did my first 400 nm ocean passage on a 50' sailboat from Tortola to the Bahamas in (relatively) calm seas I found everything that Alex said to be true. My senses became so enhanced that every sound, every movement of the boat, every sound the rigging made had my undivided attention until there was some light on the horizon or overhead (moon, sun you pick). The metal boom on the boat I was on would occasionally emit a sound like a dog barking a curtailed bark but this sound made my imagination soar until I could reason that it was just the sound of the rigging. I also thought I heard pelagics (whales) somewhere below the boat but it was also probably the rigging. My eyes worked well enough to pick up the stuff that the radar did so I felt fairly vindicated in spite of my imagined fears of dogs drowning and whales nearby. I did see a cruise boat in broad daylight heading down to PR making 20+ knots that passed behind us too.
Night time and all the joys and demons it brings with it at sea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Caleb..I know exactly what you mean..the environment, the cold, the dark, really starts playing with your mind...I know.

One time, maybe 6 or 7 years ago, I was leaving Sines really early, around 4 or 5 am, alone.

As I left the marina, we have to cross a harbour that is packed with tankers and fishing boats returning from the night fishing, so one needs special attention.

I had dimeed all lights except nav and presence lights..and at that time, I was sailing with the stars, no GPS in that boat. Anyway...about 30 minutes after leaving the dock, I was out on the open, and the water was oil, really really smooth..no moon nothing, but you could see the reflexes of the city behind..it was really really weary...

I was alone as I said, and really quiet, just looking and hearing..suddenly...

I could see thru the corner of my eye, a white shadow that just went under the boat from the side..it scared me and gave me goose pimples....I kept looking and saw nothing...so here I am, looking down the side, terying to see when suddenly PSCHHHHHHHHHFFFFFFF.....a damn dolphin just pops out right under me and releases his air....

Man I froze to death...I never remebered being that scared...it really rally scard the hell out of me....

and then another one showed up on the other side....by then I knew they were there....but everytime they popped out, I'd still get scared...I had such a dump of adrenalin, I could almost feel by body so hard....

Anyway...that kept me going for a few hours, still under slight tremors...

About an hour (or less) later, I see a light...and it's coming at me...so I think, maybe a tanker....then the light gets closer and closer...and closer....it's a sailboat...coming at me.....I make sure we don't hit each other, and we cross each other, both under power...I can see a guy lying on the cockpit, his arm hanging out...and he is sleeping..he is motoring full throtle against the shore....I call him..and honk..and all....he wakes up...and I told him he is heading on a colision course, straight into one of the most hardest shore lines of Portugal...a French boat it was...he woke up, changed course, and didn't even say thank you....(typical French)...

this to say...had it not been for the dolphins, I would probably go back to sleep, and would have never saved that poor idiot French guy from killing himself....guess he never knew what he escaped from.....God writes straight even on twisted lines..I guess...
 

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Good pictures there Guil. You are moving quickly too.

A Brit would have tracked you down and bought you beer for two weeks, or three.

Night sailing in coastal areas has always given me the jitters, even in something as deep and fixture-free as Loch Ness. Open salt water isn't too bad, but in winter, at night, at 57 deg north, man it is a lonely place. Everything looks so very different.

Remember folks, never enter strange harbours at night, no matter how good you think your chart-reading is.
I broke that rule, just once.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Good story and pics Giu, night sailing is a whole new experience. I, too, love how you have to rely on your senses other than sight to sail the boat; the slight difference of the wind on either side of your face or the back of your ears, or the sound of the waves on the opposite sides of the hull, the amount of heel, and the feel of the wheel/tiller. Thanks for reminding me, I haven't been out at night for too long.

John
 

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I like night sailing, but it does exercise a different set of skills. Here on Lake Ontario, there are predictable sea lanes for freighters and tankers, but they don't always stay IN them, and it is easy at times to lose nav lights against shore lights.

My club's lights, marking "the hole in the wall", are quite dim, and I learned early to line up the reflection of a neon advertising sign on the water to guide me in, because the shore was simply too bloody bright to see "foreground" objects, or how close they were. In such conditions, the rule about "preserve your night vision" goes out the window, and out comes the million candle-power light so I can see where the docks end...
 

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Mud Hen #69, Mad Hatter
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I'm the one at the helm.

 

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2002 Catalina 270
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Great photos Alex, thanks for sharing them. Sounds like an interesting sail to say the least! But again, what Val said.... don't you worry about crab traps?? We have them in the river too but usually close to shore and i know where they set them out so we're not so worried about them.

We go night sailing on occasion but we usually wait for a lot of moonlight. The last time we went out was my birthday this past July... it was a full moon and the perfect amount of wind to have a relaxing sail. No dolphins or Frenchmen for us though. :D

Headed out to the Neuse River... Oriental to port:








Jayme...


Oriental Channel Marker #1


And a shot from the next day...
 

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blue collar cruiser
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Sailing at night is truly one of the rewards of learning to sail well. Most of my night sailing is returning home in the dark because the wind was just too good to come home any sooner (fortunately for me Portland is lit up so well any drunken idiot can find their way back) :D :D :D . Occasionally, though, I get to sail my boat through the night, gaze at stars, navigate with lighthouses and feel a little bit more connected with our sailing forefathers. And waking up to a beautiful sunrise, who can beat it?

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I had a neat night sail 5 yrs. ago from Santa Maria de Luca on the heel of Italy to Cretone on the toe.We left At 6:00pm and my watch was 9 to 12.At about 10:00pm I noticed waves breaking on a dark object 100 yards off the starboard beam.We were in 2000' of water so I called bellow to Eric and Dave to check the radar.They told me I was seeing things as the radar showed nothing.I suggested it might be a submarine but they kept saying there was nothing there.
For the next two weeks everytime we saw a pop bottle floating by Eric would say"Phil is that a submarine?".He still bugs me about it.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As far as lobster pots..the rule here is simple...

If you run over one at night, (or day), and you can't get out of it, by simply trying to get the boat out (as Mary and Chuck saw), we have lobster dinner that night...CUT CUT CUT...get the fish/lobster/crab/octopus, and sink the rest..

Simple as that....the ocean is not theirs...its ours and theirs...simple rule...

They have to make the post with sinking line and it must be visible with appropriate flags...if they are not, they are breaking the law, and thus have no rights whatsoever, the marine police doesn't really care if we cut.
 
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