Yachting Monthly - - THE END - Christo­pher Smith

It’s not of­ten we choose to make a night pas­sage but we had a prob­lem. The ‘up-to­date’ charts of the Black Sea have their own black holes and af­ter touch­ing ground three times try­ing to find a way into an es­tu­ary in the Ukraine I de­cided our best op­tion was an overnight pas­sage north­wards to Odessa.

It was a star­lit night, there was a gen­tle wind, no waves and warm tem­per­a­tures: what could pos­si­bly go wrong? Be­ing a lateto-bed per­son, I took the first watch while Cocky, my Dutch sail­ing mate got some rest. Not long af­ter mid­night I re­treated to the quar­ter berth with my Kin­dle. I was shortly in­ter­rupted by a call from the cock­pit. ‘Help... there’s a large sail­ing boat com­ing straight for us and it’s mov­ing fast’. I came and watched a pale yel­low sail with a steady bear­ing on us from the east. It got larger and larger and I de­cided it must be a fast mov­ing cata­ma­ran on col­li­sion course with us. Then ... oh ... it be­came semi-cir­cu­lar. ‘Cocky, isn’t the ris­ing moon so beau­ti­ful?’

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