Can you see what's what in these night shots?


The April 2007 issue of Yachting Monthly (on sale now) contains expert advice from Tom Cunliffe on taking the worry out of night sailing.

Tom set sail with a couple of YM readers as night fell to give them some pointers. YM’s photographer Graham Snook was there and took the shots above. Here’s what was going on:

There’s a small fishing boat in the foreground with a bright deck light. To its right there is the Cowes-Southampton ferry coming head on. It’s green and red lights are visible as well as its two white steaming lights. All the other lights are on the shore at Cowes.

This is a similar view but the fishing boat has gone now. The mass of lights just left of centre is another Cowes ferry. This one is steaming away and its navigation lights are lost among its various deck lights. Much harder to see is another ferry, right of centre, just leaving Cowes.

The fishing boat is back and there’s the ferry again, heading straight for us. But what are those four red lights off to the right. A fishing boat carrying a pilot and pair trawling? Actuallly it’s a chimney standing on the hill above Cowes.

There’s the fishing boat again, we’re off its starboard beam now. And there’s that chimney over Cowes with its red lights. Hang on – it’s actually the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth – a good lesson in making sure you don’t see just what you want to see.

Don’t miss the April issue for Tom’s tips and advice on night sailing.