Night Sail

The final training session in our set with Alexis. The plan was for some more man-overboard practice, and to have a night sail. Probably some night man-overboard too.

So, we went out at about 2pm, straight out to sea, towards Montserrat. Once we were a couple of miles offshore, we started man overboard practice, under sail (main on reef 1, and staysail).

My first attempt went very well, picking up the fender on the first try. We were reaching when the "man" went overboard. I gybed downwind, took in the staysail, and tacked back up to it. Slightly misjudged my first tack, but got it on the second. The whole thing felt a lot easier than doing it under power.

Johno struggled a little more with it, and went around a few times, before picking it up.

Then we tried taking in a reef, and doing it again. This time, tacking was almost impossible, the boat just couldn't keep up enough speed to go around. So, it took several gybes, and several attempts to pick up the fender. Light was failing, and so everyone was trying to keep eyes on it.

Johno had one more go, in the fading light, and got it fairly quickly, on engine.

Fender lost at sea, at sunsetRetrieved!

We stayed out at sea, as a dark night fell, having some pre-prepared dinner in the last right. It was just a few days full moon, meaning a few hours of pitch dark, before moonrise.

Sailing at night really is different, everything seems more intense. We came navigated into Falmouth Harbour on bearings and charts, alone, covering up the instruments. There are big flashing leading lights, to guide you in. And then lighted buoys marking the channels. Judging distances to them is tricky, though.

Finally anchored, almost on top of a reef, in the far corner of the bay, just before 10pm. Slept like babies, exhausted.

Time on the water: 7:46
Distance covered: 30.2nm
Avg speed: 3.9kts
Max speed: 9.2kts

Navionics Track


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