Sailing at night can be a hugely satisfying experience that exposes the sailor to rewards and challenges not faced in daylight hours. Phosphorescent trails and star light skies on one hand. Unseen approaching gusts and squalls on the other, plus the obvious challenge of how to navigate!
These weekends are aimed at those that have done plenty of sailing but not much night sailing, for recently qualified Day Skippers or above, for boat owners looking to gain confidence of sailing at night or for anyone just wanting to night sail.
The Solent is a great place to practice and learn to night sail. There are so many navigational marks and buoys blinking away and other craft moving about not to mention the myriad of background shore lights that all do their best to confuse and confound. Picking out leading lights, for example into New Town Creek, or sectored lights like into busy Portsmouth are skills that can't be learnt and improved. These night sailing weekends are about giving you experience and tips in such settings.
We generally run these weekends between October and April when darkness descends early enough to allow plenty of sailing in the dark without having to stay up ridiculously late. Joining the boat at 2pm on the first day you will set sail that afternoon and sail until around midnight. There will be a leisurely start to the 2nd day, some sailing during the day plus a bit of a rest in the afternoon before sailing that evening through to midnight or so again.
On the last day you will sail back to Shamrock Quay to be finished and away by 1pm.
During your sailing course you’ll sleep on board the yacht. There’s typically three double cabins and two single berths which provide accommodation for eight people. However, there’s only ever a maximum of 4 students on board, plus the instructor. You can book a whole boat with up to 5 students.
Sometimes two people have to share the saloon or a cabin. The saloon is a large airy space with the two single berths or a large double. The cabins can have a dividing cloth to separate the space in half. You would never have to share with someone of the opposite sex.