Friday, April 19, 2013

‘Sandpiper’s’ Other Lamps/Torches

In addition to the wind-up lantern featured in yesterday’s article, I have five other lamps/torches. The smallest is a water resistant mini-torch. It is powered by an ‘AAA’ 1.5 volt battery. This is a really useful torch with an adjustable beam. I can carry it in my pocket which is very handy when night sailing. I like the torch because it creates hardly any glare, and the battery lasts for ages.

My favourite lamp is a small one that can be strapped to my forehead by an elasticated support. Pressing a button once illuminates 2 LED lights; pressing it twice illuminates 2 more, and pressing it a third time activates all 6 lights. A final press of the button turns them off. The advantage of this lamp is that my hands remain free, making it ideal for when I do things like chart work and writing up the log.

I have an ordinary pocket torch that is good to have around when I’m out at night, either when on the tender or ashore. With it I can make my presence known to others, and I can search for possible hazards such as rocks, stones or stakes.

I have an all-round lantern that is powered by 4 ‘AA’ 1.5 volt batteries. With it the entire cabin can be illuminated and it can double up as an anchor lantern.

The most powerful lamp is the one reserved for scaring off vessels. By shining it on ‘Sandpiper’s’ sails I can make her more visible. If things look really grave, perhaps in a collision situation, I can aim the beam directly towards the bridge of a ship. I can also communicate by Morse code.

Mostly, I shall avoid night sailing, but inevitably I shall find myself working the boat after sunset.

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