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Traveling on a canal at night?

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4 hours ago, Naughty Cal said:

But that's just the thing. You can see where you are going without the need for a huge spotlight. Your eyes adjust to the dark and you can see a good distance in front of you.

Until of course some dim wit comes the other way with their concentration camp style flood light shining in your eyes that then ruins your night vision :angry:

Wholeheartedly agree. Using a tunnel light or strong searchlight may be counterproductive, and can ruin your night vision. It is useful, however, to have a torch handy to  identify specific objects/obstructions if necessary. 

lShips bridges are always dark at night , especially so when transiting canals or busy rivers., and they don't carry headlights, although they may use a searchlight for short periods if necessary.

Howard

 

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I remember a story I was told.    During the blackouts in the second world war, canal boats were prohibited from using headlights the same as everyone else.   One dark foggy night a boatman was making his way along the GU when he saw a feint orange glow ahead which seemed to be coming towards him.    As it got closer he also heard the sound of a motor, and when the orange glow passed by her saw it was a fag in the mouth of a steerer, whose boat had by then almost completely passed him by.

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12 minutes ago, Waterway2go said:

I remember a story I was told.    During the blackouts in the second world war, canal boats were prohibited from using headlights the same as everyone else.   One dark foggy night a boatman was making his way along the GU when he saw a feint orange glow ahead which seemed to be coming towards him.    As it got closer he also heard the sound of a motor, and when the orange glow passed by her saw it was a fag in the mouth of a steerer, whose boat had by then almost completely passed him by.

In modern times there'd almost certainly be a crash as the massive vapour cloud created a latter-day repentant smoker would not be visible at night... although the unmistakable aroma of cherries in vanilla panacotta with a drizzle of basil jus may alert you,  depending on the wind direction.

  • Horror 1

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7 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Strongly agree. My last night trip was on the Cam and Ely Ouse, lit by only nav lights and the moon. I find a spotlight or searchlight disorienting, actually, and it adversely affects your own night vision (as well as people coming the other way!). If anything a canal has "harder" edges than a river, so it's even easier to spot the water's edge.

But again you are talking about rivers. I can’t see how you can deal with narrow locks and bridges without turning a light on as you approach.  For me at least, I can not make out the edges in the dark.

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20 minutes ago, john6767 said:

But again you are talking about rivers. I can’t see how you can deal with narrow locks and bridges without turning a light on as you approach.  For me at least, I can not make out the edges in the dark.

Each to their own, of course. And I do have quite a bright nav light now (LED).

I should have said that when getting on and off the boat, or working locks, I normally have some extra lighting on (my new headtorch is good, otherwise the searchlight controlled from the back of the boat), not least so I can see where I am putting my feet etc. 

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The Stort which is largely tree lined can be absolutely pitch black on overcast nights with no moon or stars. I use an oblong wide angle short range car driving lamp. Its the banks on either side a short way ahead that you need to be able to see.

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