Great night out just kept getting pulled further. Honey was not happy.
observations of a ‘night paddler’ (do most of my paddling pre-dawn)
- less boat traffic (though you must be MORE attentive of other craft)
- you become aware of the tides w/out having to reference a table (moon - rough idea, daily - add about an hour to prev day)
- sometimes dolphins are NOT aware of you, I splash the paddle when I hear them nearby
- I put marks (white marking stick) on paddle for feathering - so I can feather paddle w/out light
- I use a gps now (speed mainly), but in pre-gps days would use a compass with tritium (illumination) (for long trips)
- become ‘aware’ of where you store things, so you can find them easily w/out light
- pre trip checks more important (hatches secured, no loose items), because you won’t see them
- loss of ‘depth perception’ - one example: I was crossing a bay, observing cliffs in the distance - when I nearly ran into the cliffs (they weren’t in the ‘distance’), another example: paddling out of Amelia river, getting ready to cross over to Cumberland Island, seeing the distant island shore - when the ‘distant shore’ came up very quickly - it was not the distant shore, it was a ‘breakwater’ the outgoing current nearing brought me into
- cooler temps (FL paddler)
- sunscreen not needed
Nice! What kind of lights do you guys use when paddling in the dark?
Also what app is that, PD? MapMyWalk?
Plus Princeton Tec Apex head lamp if I need to sea farther. I the waves pickup you want to see what’s coming at you.
The lights are all made by TEKTITE IN USA. Good for 1,000 feet deep. Paddlers Supply adds a suction cup and rebrands them . One TEKTITE light has 4 LEDs the others two. Battery life is the difference I think 100 he. vs 50.
Need one front and rear to make sure you have 360° visibility. Going to try just throwing one on my back over my shoulder of my PFD.
Always take extra lights.
Doesn’t the one in front kill your night vision?
You can put tape on back half. Last night I just laid it on the deck bag. I was thinking of making small shield out of ABS plastic to slip from bottom when I lay it on the deck back. Even 1.5" radius would be good with one side bent up.
You should look into Strava app for mapping and analyzing your trips. It communicates directly with Garmins and provides a lot of useful data.
We generally will run lights out on night paddles( cannonball 90, Ausable canoe marathon etc…)and dim the gps backlight, only illuminating trouble areas and channels as needed. Night vision once acclimated is better then you think and if your gps route is strong, it can be relied upon.
Obviously check local regulations but I have a 360 Illuminator on a pole for busy waterways and such, wear a headlamp that can be turned on if needed and utilize a paddle activated bow mount light with high/low beams.
When traveling in a pack, generally only the front boat has a light on, if you are behind them your bow light will throw misleading shadows in front of the lead boat.
For anyone who hasn’t tried, I highly recommend paddling at night, it’s an exhilarating and immensely rewarding experience. Try it out on a familiar route
Here is paddle activated switch setup for a bow light, angle is slightly downward and far enough forward to clear the bow. The bow will cast a shadow if not cleared
To be truthful I had a great trip till just near the end. A 35’+ center console missed me at 35 -40 mph. He went about 15 - 20 feet from me coming from behind and cutting in front of me. He threw up a 3’ + wake to boot which was unsettling in the dark. He then proceeded to pass a small boat about 150’ away by another 15-20’. He went further into a small bay. I was going to paddle after him when he slowed. I was hot by then and was close to home.
I couldn’t tell you exactly what boat it was except for outline and two big outboards. He did have four blue transom lights on the stern. The two outer lights were stepped down about 10". I think I will be able to find the boat soon with my power boat cruising the canals and bay perimeter.
I surely would not recommend only one kayak with lights.