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Old 10 November 2002, 17:56   #1
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Night time passages

Both myself and Tim have been out recently at night in the Hysucat, we mostly travel up a river near Dun Laoghaire, we certainly keep a good watch at night have the usual compass , flares,killchords,vhf,we use a plotter at night aswell, we make a definate effort to keep the speed down at night, from time to time we come across floating debris mostly small wood or branches, we have seen a couch and gas cylinder floating,does anyone else venture out at night? Its great practice reading instruments, keeping watch using the compass etc, I would like to feel it is safe but with reduced visibility and no radar it cant be 100% safe , however we take it easy we also have good work lights and of course nav lights,does anyone have any feelings as to what other sort of precautions should be taken at night,or experiences people have had at night out in Ribs.Or should we speak to psychiatrists can anyone recomend a good one in Dublin,is this foolhardiness or valuable necessary experience, afterall we can all be caught out after dark, our own lifeboats in Dublin reguarly excerise at night so what do you guys think?
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Old 10 November 2002, 18:10   #2
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Whatever hazards are about in daylight are there at night as well.
They do not go away when the sun goes in. The same amount of attention should be paid at night as you would in daytime. The hazards only seem to be worse!! Trust me on this one,I have just done 12,000 miles in the dark! Alan P
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Old 10 November 2002, 19:26   #3
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Like Alan P, I've spent a lot of time at night in coastal and open ocean environments in a RIB. The three greatest new challenges for me were trusting my instruments, deciphering the seemingly endless combination of nav lights encountered, and recognizing the correct nav aids and range lights coming into a port. It can be very confusing, even in waters you've sailed for years. However, once you get familiar with it (and the further from shore you are!) you may find you even prefer it in some ways to daylight.

Assuming you are keeping as good a watch as possible, the only points I would emphasize are: practice MOB drill and ensure that everyone has a light attached to them in case they go over (it's very different at night); reduce glare from instrument and nav lights to enhance night vision; have a plan and appropriate equipment for typical emergencies, know where everything is, (just as you would for a daytime voyage) and add multiple waterproof lights and batteries to your inventory. For example, changing a prop in deep water at night takes some pre-planning and practice. And, finally, be sure you have up-to-date charts and tables - it's even more critical at night.
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Old 11 November 2002, 03:20   #4
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Good stuff from both Alan and Bryan above. The only thing I would like to add is that passage making at night is an essential part of the fully experienced skipper's log book.

This is simply because every conceivable difficulty in daylight hours becomes many times more problematic in the dark. And only practice will make perfect.

I would also like to add that gaining night time passage making experience while you are young - and all your senses are still sharp - will make the learning far easier.

These days making a landfall on a moonless night is, I confess, more stressful than it used to be. It's not now much fun to pore over the chart with rain splattered reading specs which constantly have to be dragged off my face so that I can squint into the blur of lights to try and make sense of what could be nav marks, ships, buildings and cars.

But if I hadn't done that sort of thing countless times before, it would scare the pants off me to start learning now.

Keep clocking up those miles in the dark, Gavin!
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Old 11 November 2002, 03:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Garside

gaining night time passage making experience while you are young -
Hey Mike, is that why you and Brian Elliott, never go out at night...
Gavin and Tim, you guys have to be even more vigilant as with the Hysucat, I hit something, no idea what, and ripped the entire foil off. It was also fun 'decapitating' old cray pot bouys.
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Old 11 November 2002, 03:36   #6
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Right on, Charles. And you won't catch me doin' the boogie much anymore, either. Knees, as well as the eyes, are totally shot...
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Old 11 November 2002, 04:07   #7
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Night Trips

Morning All

Passage making at night is great as long as you keep a good look out and keep the speed down a bit as you may have to make a sharp turn etc. Cutting Lobster pots of in the dark is fun as i found out in Dartmouth. Just make sure you have planned the route and know what you are looking for and things should be fine. I now keep a knife strapped to my leg. Keep things like flares , knives etc in a place that is easily accesable. I find that its far better to run offshore at night to avoid things like lobster pots and those stupid fishing net bouys that float just under the surface.

Julian
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Old 11 November 2002, 04:28   #8
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Quote:
now keep a knife strapped to my leg
Hey, I go out at night in places like that!

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Old 11 November 2002, 08:00   #9
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I am sure taht we all have this in our lifejackets, but I think a strobe is an essential component in your lifejacket for night time use.
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Old 11 November 2002, 09:20   #10
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Keith, does this have anything that is going on in the Royal Household at the moment? Alan P
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