|Off Southsea Sea Front|
Here's a confession: I'm pretty terrified of boating in the dark. Back in the days when I was boating on the canals, you stopped at dinner time outside a pub and didn't do any night time driving. So the concept is pretty alien, due to lack of experience really.
So I thought a little trip in the dark in a place I know pretty well would help me acclimatise and help get over the fear.
I've already fitted red lights in the cabin for night use and the navigation lights all work. Sort of. Except it seems the switches for the anchor and steaming lights are transposed so that needs sorting out at some point.
Here's the cabin at night:
I had the advantage that the night was still and there was no wind, plus the "Supermoon" was pretty bright too. Ideal conditions for moving at night really. It was still so dark the camera couldn't focus properly.
Laying to on the mud wasn't bad, the boat stayed level, which was good. There were no dramas motoring round to the mooring except that I was a bit early and got stopped on the mud again about 60ft away from my dinghy swinging on the rising tide.
About 30 minutes later I had enough water to get to the dinghy and more or less let the boat drift onto it slowly using the light wind with a bit of outboard motor for control. Pretty easy really.
So I had a good few hours in the Solent and lost my night time cherry, not a bad day at all.
I went down this afternoon and just did a bit of people watching while having a brew sat on the mooring. After checking I'd secured everything last night, I came back off before the tide dropped too much.
So not a bad weekend.
The forecast is good for most of the week and the tides are high springs too, but one of the guys in the office is off this week, so the chances of getting a day off is pretty slim. Bugger.