I was recently considering a long cruise beginning overnight with a full moon.
The moon rises before dusk to a maximum elevation of 22° and sets at 6.23am WSW.
Sunrise 5.43am with nautical dawn at 4.18am.
All these details are cribbed from timeanddate.com .
Is there a rule of thumb as to how high the moon needs to be to shed any useful light?
The passage, which I won't be making, would be a wide estuary crossing, 5 1/2miles, with the far shore possibly unlit, but with lit channel markers, and a busy shipping lane ofcourse.
I would be carrying a single white light atop the mast, (or in my case gunter).
Does anyone have any thoughts on theoretical feasibility?
Although I don't any more intend to do this on this occasion, I think, with ideal conditions it could be as safe as daylight, and I would prefer a planned night sail at the start of a passage to an unplanned one at the end.
On 6 Mar 2019 at 7:50, Stephen Davies 3471 [via DCA Forum] wrote:
> I was recently considering a long cruise beginning overnight with a
> full moon.
When making passages I have a slight preference for travelling at
night. I find that, in busy waters like the channel, that it is often
easier to tell what other craft are doing from their lights. If in a
populated area then a background of land illumination can negate this
advantage, of course.
Assuming that there are sufficient lit navigation marks then
visibility, from moonlight, is not so important.
Modern electronics makes the whole thing vastly easier, of course.
Sail when you can, row when you must, motor only
when you have to be at work in the morning.
On the Medway I have found the buoyage confusing at night as the channel weaves through the riverbed, it is sometimes difficult to pick out the nearest one.
If I am crossing the estuary I think it will help if I can pick out the shoreline, but perhaps this won't be a problem. I look forward tò getting out more this year and seeing for myself.
For a start I may just "go take a look", and sail back.