Thursday, March 5, 2009

One month to go

A mere month to go and I am still in the midst of planning. It's a little deeper when venturing out for more than a day; A boat needs to have various extras and spares.

Sometimes, I can go a little overboard on packing extras. I have a serious phobia about being a mile away from nothing and needing a padeye wrench or BT punch.

On the Trans-Atlantic, I had stuff packed away in places I forgot. So much so, that I repurchased crap I already had duplicates of...

This won't happen this time. There is a six person life raft and I will have the following in a bailout bag; a handheld VHF radio. There will be a rented Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (E.P.I.R.B) in said bag, along with signal mirror, handheld GPS, batteries, knives, canteen of water, bandages and a six pack of beer.

I'm gonna need that beer to mellow the f%&$@ out after going through a sinking of a boat. The bailout bag will also have a plastic bag with passport copies and ID. The bag shall reside secured lightly to a hand rail by the fly bridge. I want it to be the first and last thing I grab before departing the vessel permanently.

You have probably said to your self, "Why weigh the bag with beer, wouldn't alcohol be a bad idea?"

O.k. I'm fibbing about the beer. This is supposed to be entertaining, here.

Maybe a little half pint bottle of 151 Rum for wound cleaning/killing fish. Did you know that the humane way of dispatching a live fish is to put a cap full of 151 Rum into its gills? Instant death. No need for a small bat and fish blood all over your nice boat. Unless you are carrying that bat for crew compliance issues.

Digress away, Captain.

Note: I haven't sunk a boat, yet. Except for the 16 foot catamaran that went into the rocks, eighteen years ago.

Have I lost your trust and faith???

I thought we were friends, here.

Believe me or not, it is safer in the open ocean than near shore. Shallow waters have unique differences; Like Rocks and Shoals and hard places. But many people are soothed by seeing a nearby shore, like they could possibly swim that five mile distance to a rocky breakwater.

I could do that swim for real up until about nine years ago. Tonnage and laziness. Been there, done that for real. Today? I am a sloth. A three toed sloth who lives in the trees and comes down every couple days to defecate and gather berries.

Boating Mishaps:

Monday Morning Quarterbacking a tragedy is definitely not fair to victims of boating mishaps (As per Navy Safety Center dogma; there is NO such thing as an "Accident". Only mishaps that can be avoided.) The Naval Safety Center has some gouge, and the Coast Guard will have better info than the Navy. The recent tragedy off of Western Florida reminds me that none of us are immune.


We purchased a couple of brand new inflatable float coats and harnesses. I need to customize them with signaling devices like whistles and mirrors. I will also add knives to the harnesses. I would bet that those football players were needing a knife to cut away that anchor line that was a possible factor to their mishap. Small dive knives with rubber sheaths are relatively cheap and are amazingly sharp.

Note the harnesses on these two goons:

Saturday will see a great running about as I make lists and make all this stuff come together.

Life Jacket Mao:

I still have to find crew. There is an extra billet available, for the trip South. Figure a week underway and return home via airline or boat, from Lauderdale or Miami.

Stay safe out there!

Have a fine Navy day.


Buck said...

This post confirms what I've long thought: preparing for a boat trip is a helluva lot more involved than just lashing the duffel to the back of the bike and heading out...

I used to carry all sorts of spares and associated stuff on my bikes before those clever Nipponese made them as reliable as Toyotas. Nowadays the only thing I add to the stock tool kit is a small pair of vise grips, a tire gauge, and one spare plug. Easy, eh?

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Well said.

But I already have all of that onboard. I just have to scramble about just to appease the bad luck gremlins. When I feel like everything is "dokey okey", that's when a mini disaster will occur. So I shall act like it is time for dancing about in a safely planning kinda way.

See; "Cherbourg" 1999.

Cherbourg will be a large T.I.N.S. story. Only 20 hours into the big trip, I tried to kill us all... more later.