Cowes Firworks - sanity check
Whilst I applaud the courage of those thinking of spending their first night at sea underway during Cowes Fireworks, How wise an idea actually is it?
I would hate to be thought of as a killjoy but the Solent at night can be confusing enough normally and when one adds the complications of unlit vessels being driven by lots of confused people let alone all the lights from properly lit vessels being driven too fast the risks mount up.
If you do still want to give it a go then give yourself a fighting chance.
First check your own gear and lights and emergency lights (torch), whistle, GPS, VHF and so on.
Then make a really good passage plan - work out how you are going to navigate - following the GPS is not enough, you need calculated tracks with the buoys you are going to pass marked and dangers highlighted.
Rehearse the passage in your mind thinking about each buoy, mark and light you will see.
Then go out and rehearse the passage in daytime, followed by giving it a go on a quiet night. Ideally take an experienced friend in another RIB to follow you and help if it goes wrong.
Do not rely on GPS alone - you need to maintain a good lookout and slow down when things do not seem right, stop if need be and sort it out before proceeding.
There is lots more advice I could offer but an RYA course will teach you even more.
Good luck and enjoy Cowes Week.
All the best