|Sailing into the dark|
|Open sea again|
As mentioned the virtual seas are full of meaningless lighthouses, whereas there is (still) a lack of meaningfull nav buoys. Some areas are better than others. The North Sea has a few correct buoys indicating shallow waters and stuff. The Blake sea is a bit too littered with stuff that lights up for no apparent reason. Perhaps it is time to tidy up and possibly upgrade, Mr. Blake? For instance, there's a map giver that sends out more light than the entire pool of nav buoys in that same area. Pretty ugly actually. Dunno why it has to be so shiny...
|Two nav buoys|
Here are two nav buoys. Click the image to them better. There's really no reason why they are just there, but they do look nice. The white one resembles a traffic separation thingy. It sits north of an island!!? Maybe to split up traffic on either side? The red one is just - ehm - there. Well, and you can't sail much east of it. So maybe it's just the wrong buoy at the right place?? Or - it is really a red - marking the portside of a path..? Could be...
Here's the small island east of Tradewinds YC. It's a nice view, but the island is completely unmarked. I suppose there is no need for that as there are no reefs surrounding it, but a tiny flash on a stick would have added just a tad of finishing touch. On a dark stormy night that piece of rock would have been as invisible as the now famous reef in the Indian Ocean. Incidentally, I recently heard from one of the danish sailors that it was in fact pitch dark when they hit it.
If only the moon had been out they'd have seen it - well not the reef but the island right behind it. Moonlight can be rather strong out there. When the moon is the only source of light - at all - it can pretty much light it all up. Check out this shot, which I kinda like. Zoom in and note the faint yellow light in the back. It's actually marking shallow waters, so there's one meaningful buoy. Except it should have been a South marker. Oh, I wish we had better marks and better charts...
... and here's another one... The Tradewinds Lighthouse overlooks 270 degrees of open water. It's well placed there. It could have been a sector light. Being green in the 270 waterish directions and red in the last 90. I suppose Tasha want to keep it as close to the real thing; The smaller red light is actually on the other side marking the entrance to the west side marina. Could be sectored as well. Well, better get back at my mooring spot in time for a morning coffee.
Ahh... I just love the morning at Tradewinds; It only gets better with a freshly squeezed espresso. Yummy. So how was it then..? I love it. The boat seems fast and responsive, and it doesn't act up in unspected ways. It's really smooth on a downwind, whereas upwind requires a bit more attention due to the weather helm. Perhaps cruisers will find it a bit tedious. I almost did, but then again a boat like this would rarely sail on a straight line by itself. The trimming? Supereasy. There are lamps indicating trim and there are luffing sounds and telltails. Doesn't get much better. Well, perhaps there should be an automated fender function. I just realize that I sailed around with fenders out. Duuuh. And there are no decent nav lights. The light command turns on engine light plus starboard and port side, but there's no rear light. Unsuited for night sailing! Anyways, I had a great time sailing the Ushuaia. Will take her out for a dayspin anytime soon... Unless 1st Life calls for some real sailing. 26C and 5 meters from east. Sounds like summer... Cheers...