So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Learning from other people
One of the luckiest events of our early sailing adventures was being able to help a couple who lost their boat in a storm. My lovely wife and I had only been sailing for a few months. We'd trailered out boat down to Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys.
Our boat spent nights tied up in the protected marina. The people who lost their boat were anchored in the channel next to the marina. A sudden storm dragged the boat into the old railroad bridge. We discovered the couple soaking wet, wandering the empty marina. We gave them some warm dry cloths, water, and let them sleep in our truck.
From their misadventure I learned some valuable lessons. One of the first things I did was get more robust anchors and other ground tackle for my boat. I carry at least 3 anchors with me at all times. Sometimes it takes a number of tries before I'm completely satisfied with how the anchor's set. No shortcuts here.
The antenna of their main radio was destroyed by the bridge but they were able to contact the Coast Guard with a hand held. I bought a good hand held. marine radio that's waterproof and floats.
Their expensive self inflating life jackets didn't work. Fortunately, they had a couple old fashioned horse collar life jackets. I decided to not waste money of the expensive inflatables and to use comfortable foam life jackets. The life jackets also have flashing emergency lights on them and whistles. It's dark out there during a storm.
Their insurance company didn't pay enough to replace the boat. I pay a bit more for a policy where the insurance company doesn't try to dicker about the value but accepts my numbers. My boat's not expensive so it really costs very little extra.
Their boat was small so they didn't have a regular dingy. Instead, they used a good quality tandem inflatable kayak. When they abandoned ship they had the kayak inflated and ready to go. My lovely wife and I are shopping for inflatable kayaks on-line. They don't take up much space, and make a pretty good tender for a small boat. It's also nice to have something to paddle around the mangroves.
We were able to help the shipwrecked couple a bit, but the lessons we learned from their misadventure are priceless.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.