350. Top Tips Tuesday - That Clunk In The Night

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My first ever encounter with a lobster pot ‘marker’ was off the Northumberland coast many years ago, early eighties if my memory serves me correctly, and it was to be my baptism at competing in an offshore race. The Bass Rock race is organised by the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club and if all goes to plan it's ‘only’ two nights at sea! Our ride for the weekend was the works J24 and the boat's first ‘long’ distance race. Incidentally later that year we found out if you have a bad broach you can sink a J so from there on it was only round the cans races! However, I digress. We were close hauled, four crew on the windward rail and yours truly on the helm, boat speed and VMG were good according to the Stowe cockpit display with a good sea state. However, with cloud cover and no moon, visibility (is that the correct word) was poor! We did however have at the time a ‘state of the art navigation’ new to the marine market a hand held GPS, methinks in those days retailing at over £600-00!  Suddenly my thoughts or dreams of maybe winning the coveted Bass Rock race at our first attempt were rudely shattered as there was a thud and we literally stopped dead in the water! Run aground? Not according to our GPS, no we were now firmly moored to a lobster pot float with, on close inspection, a slimy floating line 16mm or so round our transom hung rudder!  Well, we eventually freed ourself from our jailer, missed the tidal gate through the Farne islands and with it our chances of ending up in the chocolates!  Since that first encounter I have kept a close look out for them but have wondered what is the chance of spotting one at night, zilch methinks. However, if you had a Sionyx Aurora Sport on board? Not only good for spotting floating hazards but yachts and powerboats at anchor, navigation buoys etc etc.

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Perhaps the Sionyx Aurora Sport which is a digital coloured night vision monocular is the answer to picking out objects in the water, unlike a thermal imaging device it does not rely on a heat source. Whilst I haven’t had the chance to use one on the water, only dry land so far, it has won awards in the US within the marine sector and has proven to be a great help when sailing or motoring in the dark. Boss man Andy and I took our demo model out onto Whitley Bay beach one night last month and whilst it wasn’t a pitch-black night it's performance was impressive. See the below clip of yours truly walking alongside the sea wall at Whitley Bay!

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Aurora can be used as a hand held device or mounted on the pulpit or say the cabin roof. It features near moonless starlight night vision, it's water resistant to IP67 and can be wirelessly streamed to a smart device via the Sionyx app. Below are a couple of videos of the device in action, impressive or what!

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The Aurora Sport is a colour night vision camera, capable of day-time, low-light and night-time recording in colour or greyscale through SiOnyx's own patented Ultra Low-Light Sensor Technology. This technology transforms the viewing experience.

The Aurora Sport is designed for fast setting changes, featuring an intuitive switch and dial set-up. The scene ring allows for a custom viewing experience for different times of day and the settings dial allows for fast operating mode changes. Users can also adjust the lens focus and diopter.

The camera has on-board recording, with up to 60 frames a second for video in HD and still photos with shutter speeds up to 1/8000th of a second. The Aurora Sport also features Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) which helps to minimise blur and compensates for camera shake.

The device includes a variety of camera recording modes, including: burst mode, time-lapse, panoramic view, self-timer, loop mode, slo-mo (shutter control) and HDR (High Dynamic Range).

The device features on-board WiFi, meaning the Aurora Sport can be remote-controlled, live-viewed and can share captured images & videos with the SiOnyx App via a smartphone or tablet.

The Aurora Sport's compact size and robust bodyshell make it the best tool for outdoor action and weighing in at less than 227 grams (under 8 ounces) make it even easier to carry. Perfect for outdoor sports and activities, with a built-in lens protector, 6000j shock-resistance and IP67 rating for dust-resistance, splash-proof and water-resistance of up to 3 feet for 30 minutes.

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