March 19, 2011
As part of our work up for the Fastnet, a percentage of the crew have to undertake Sea Survival and Heavy Weather Sailing training – because we are all literally in the same boat, we have our full team do this in the form of the ISAF Offshore Safety Course.
So, the team got together on the evening of the 18th for a beer or two (just to support the local economy!) and to get ready for the ISAF course on the following morning.
As if to prove “shit happens”, the pool sesion had to be postponed after a problem with the pool. Instead we have the classroom session under our belts and even managed to teach the instructor a thing or two about one particular “incident” courtesy of Rab – the skipper of the boat involved!
After that it was time for Man Overboard!! Now, most people practice the getting back to them bit, and with 3 instructors on board we ought to be OK at that, but what about getting them back on board the boat?
Out with the drysuit for Nige and on with the first problem – the suit actually belonged to Karen his wife! There being no way Nige would fit in the suit he had to sheepishly ask his Mrs if she would mind being the guinea pig? Karen took it in good spirits and we, of course, gave Nige lot’s of stick!!
After playing with it, we can heartily recommend the Mobmat as a way to recover a casualty from the water avoiding problems from hydrostatic squeeze by keeping them horizontal during the lift.
That evening he team descended on the Jolly Roger for dinner and more tall tales, and a confession……. Karen had actually checked the drysuit for Nige and not recognised her own suit, and that’s when the sympathy ended :)
On the Sunday we practiced hoisting storm jibs and trisails, before looking at how the emergnecy tiller works – and how we may be able to steer without a rudder at all. Be honest, how many of you actually have a go with these bits of kit? We have done maybe hundreds of miles with the trisail – it doesn’t need to be THAT windy before people start to worry about a crash gybe, but this is no drama with the loose footed trisail.
Next stop for the team is 4 days of training over Easter, going through the skills and drills needed to sail the boat offshore, and getting used to each other in general.