Venturing Forth at Night

535 Words2 Pages
It’s fun to imagine an idyllic evening cruising slowly on the moonlit water with a sweetheart at one’s side, and there were occasions for doing just that, but for the most part that is a scene from a Hollywood movie. In reality boating at night is reason to be alert and to exercise caution.
Living on an island poses a different set of transportation obstacles than does being in a conventional setting on the mainland. It is necessary to take a boat each time one wants to go some place. Walking is not an option and swimming ashore would be both dangerous and foolhardy. Running a boat at night is not like driving a car either. Boats are not normally equipped with headlights and there are certainly no roads to follow. Boats are outfitted with running lights to alert other boats of their presence and location. A red light is affixed to the left side of the boat, a green light is placed on the right side, and a clear globe with an illuminated bulb is displayed with 360-degree visibility at the stern.
I found it quite strange and somewhat disconcerting the first few times I ran a boat in the dark. The rocks, shoals and irregular landforms are no longer visible and easily avoided. On a dark night the boater must rely on memory to know where to go and how to get there. I learned I could improve my night vision if I turned my head sideways and used my peripheral vision, but despite such tricks it’s no secret that distance and depth perception are reduced significantly after dark.
Get Access