Entering harbour at night
Yachting Monthly|June 2020
Entering harbour at night
James Stevens looks at how best to prepare for arriving at an unfamilar harbour after dark and what to be aware of
James Stevens

Around most of the UK coast, it is possible for yachts to reach a destination in daylight during summer even with tidal gates restricting the time of arrival. So although British ports are busy with shipping at night there are surprisingly few yachts underway in the dark.

It is easy therefore to become unused tonight pilotage, but if skippers are sailing longer distances or simply short trips which become delayed, this means that knowing how to enter a port at night is an essential skill.

Trying to read a pilot book and work out tidal heights and streams and sketch a pilotage plan is hard work at a dimmed chart table so it makes sense to pre-plan while still in daylight.

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June 2020