sailing offshore by your instruments, at night time feels really different; keeping an accurate log is a must
Offshore Sailing at Night
Any trip over 60-70 Nm depending your cruising speed (over ground!) will either start before sunrise or end after sunset.
For some sailors (or crew) sailing at night is a scary thing. Everything looks very different.
You tend to get more tired if not prepared. Adrenaline will keep you awake for only so long.
For many first timers it can be helpful to have an experienced hand on board.
A first night out sailing is quite an adventure and if you have a clear sky also an amazing experience.
with no or hardly any light pollution, you really get to see the stars. It’s fun to have a celestial map to determine which you actually see
especially when it’s a longer passage involving more nights sailing, you need a watch system that fits your crew
I’ll be happy to work out a watch system with you … and be part of it too!
Night time is also the time that most if not all fishing vessels are at sea. While fishing their boat speed may be limited. Be aware though that a fishing vessel tends to change course quite frequently. Apart from fishing vessels there are also a lot off fishing pots, sometimes way off shore. At day time it can be a challenge to spot them all. At night time it’s virtually impossible since none of them are lit. When you still seem to have boat speed but your SOG drops to nil, you definitely have caught a line.
Standing watches at night can be way more pleasant when you have some snacks at hand. Also a cup of soup or a bowl of noodles can be very welcome when it gets a bit chilly.
Sailing at night with a bright moon and clouds can be visually tricky. You wouldn’t be the first to all of a sudden think your on a collision course with a very big ship that wasn’t there when you last looked and then realize it is the moon peaking though the clouds.
Coming close to your destination you have to decide what to do. Are you familiar with your Port of Call, at night time that is? Maybe you rather stay out cruising around for a bit and wait for the sunset to enter a new marina.