Safety at Sea (Part Deux)
In part one you were introduced to some of the gear we have aboard Rhea to make our journey more safe. Here in part two we will continue the safety conga line.
MOB — We are not talking ‘bout organized crime that my grandfather was “surely" not a part of (wink, wink.) We are talking about Man Over Board procedures. There is a protocol for what to do when someone falls off the boat. In fact, there are many protocols - the figure 8, the quick turn, the Williamson turn, etc… Here is an illustration to make it clear —
— Seems easy? It’s not. As the helms person it is imperative to understand where you are in relation to the wind, how the boat handles, the direction of the current, what the waves are doing and how to best get your buddy out of the water - All of this in split second. Aboard Rhea we have a MOB button on our Nav pod that allows us to mark the approximate place that the person fell (or was pushed) overboard. This helps the person at the helm especially in cases with poor visibility. If you have ever been aboard Rhea you know that we cover the MOB "bird dog point” as part of our safety briefing.
Once we make our way back to the soggy sap in the water we need a way to help them back to the boat - if we get too close we could be pushed by the wind or a wave on top of our buddy - not cool!!
We have a special piece of floating yellowness called a Lifesling that lives on the lifelines for easy deployment in the event someone disobeys the “one had for you - one hand for the boat rule.”
Luckily, Rhea has a swim ladder that we can deploy to assist in getting our pal back into the boat. Knowing that our pal is soaked and, like, wearing a ton of clothing (it is the SF Bay, y’all) we know that we can grab the spinnaker halyard to help hoist them out of the ocean. What is a spinnaker halyard? Suffice it to say that it is a rope with a thingy on it that will attach to a life vest. Once attached we can use a winch to pull Moby Dick out of the bay if we need to.
Take the Weather With You — We spend an in ordinate amount of time talking about the weather. Some might think we are running out of things to talk about but the weather is a huge factor in everything we do. We plan projects around the weather. At times severe weather dictates that we tie the boat to the dock in a certain way. Some days we invite people sailing and can’t leave the dock because the weather is too heavy (Sorry, Matt, Emily, Jessica, Jeff, Ryan and Kerry!)
We have at least six apps that feed us weather reports, forecasts and historical data to help us plan our excursions. A note about plans: One of the most prudent pieces of advice we have received is to never place timing above safety. In other words, if the weather or any other condition is not right - we stay put. Waiting for a good weather window to ensures the safest sail possible and I may have mentioned, I’m a safety girl!