Updated: Jan 6
After coming out of the marina and everybody doing their part, some holding the ropes, bringing in the fenders, steering the boat and hoisting up the sails, it is such a lovely sound when the drone of the engine finally dies. Everyone appreciating the freedom they suddenly feel.
Oh the peace....., the sloshing of the waves against the bow as we break the water, the feel of the yacht as she rocks side to side with the waves, at times catching you off guard and others making you feel like you are on some sort of fun fair coaster ride. The night sky, when clear is the most amazing sight the eyes can behold. A million zillion stars above our heads and choosing one to follow instead of consistently looking at the compass makes you feel some kind of connection with the navigators of old.
The brisk night air smacking at your face or what can be seen of it (usually just the eyes and those are generally in squint mode) keeps you awake. The knowledge that the crew on board are relying on you to keep them safe whilst they rest and if lucky catch some much needed sleep. A three hour watch alone with oneself and no one to talk to other than the wind is therapeutic to say the least.
And the Irish Sea has it's own character. The glowing lights against the horizon of gas or oil exploration platforms are like some kind of spaceship getting ready to orbit. A mass of wind generators standing in rows, fans out-stretched, slowly whirring round and round visible only by their blinking red lights, a warning to keep your distance. Our own tiny lights of red, green, and white are the only sign of our yacht against the blackness of the night, stealthily riding the blackened waves.
I have done a fair bit of night-time sailing now, each one different to the other. Some have been extremely intense, high wind, rain that hits you in the face like a fist full of nails piercing your skin, the cold biting through a multitude of layers and yet one of the most recent ones was so calm and peaceful it was hard not to want to just fall asleep and let the yacht drift away on its own merry voyage, with the moon reflecting all across the sea to us.
It is a wonderful experience to sail at night, the darkness of nature smothering you like a cloak, whilst the tide and the wind work their magic and bring you and the crew safely back to land. I do hope you can come and join us on a night-time sail and let nature breathe its dark secrets of the sea around you too.
"There is something haunting in the light of the Moon. It has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul and something of its inconceivable mystery."