Voyaging Under Power 4th Edition- Book

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©Amazon.com

Title: Voyaging Under Power
Author: Robert P. Beebe & Denis Umstot
Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
Date Published: January 16, 2013
Pages: 448 pages (Hardcover)
Price: NZ$40.08 (Book Depository)

Guide to cross the oceans and see the world in comfort and safety.

Bowline Knot

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Knot: Bowline
When: Used to tie a mooring line from a boat to a post, a very reliable knot
A knot that you need to be able to tie with your eyes closed or in the dark. You may arrive at a marina at night.
A knot that you need to know for the Day Skipper Certificate Course,  New Zealand

Is this a left or a right handed knot?
How to tie a bowline instructions here

Sea Survival – Book

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Title: Sea Survival Handbook
Author: Keith Colwell
Publisher: The Royal Yachting Association
Date Published: 2010
Pages: 160
Price: NZ$25.70 (Book Depository)

Written as a course book for the one day course in Sea Survival.
A common sense approach to sea survival explained well to the complete novice with plenty of diagrams. Knowing what to do if an emergency situation occurs could mean the difference between life and death. We hope it never comes to that but being prepared is in our own best interest. Help is not always there when you need it so knowledge in helping yourself is vital.

The Survival Float

If you happen to find yourself in the water without a flotation device/life jacket then the best way of floating while in rough, open water is the survival float or the face down float. This style of floating allows you to conserve your energy so you can stay in the water for longer.  Variations for individual buoyancy can be accomplished by adjusting the legs by drawing them up toward the chest or extending them out and adjusting the arms by extending them or drawing them in towards the chest. These actions balance the floater around the chest, the center of buoyancy.
In calmer waters lying on your back or back floating is best.

Read more: here

Seriously a wee reality check here

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Okay so I could look at boat listings all day long and be quite happy. I get that. But it will not get me any closer to living aboard a yacht, sailing along the coast, let alone the blue water pipe dream. Oh and don’t forget the idea of  buying a boat overseas and sailing it back… let me wipe the coffee you just spilled onto your keyboard, laughing, after a gulp. You should know better.

I know that I put up the Bucket Trip List and a carrot is a good thing.  However there are things that must be done before this dream becomes reality.  See my Training Section.

All I ask when sailing is to be:

  • COMFORTABLE
  • SAFE
  • HAVE FUN
  • FAST

In order to do this I , no, we, need to learn a little bit before getting our feet wet.  We aren’t interested in going fast so cruising sounds ideal. Skill, skill and more skill required. You can have all the skill in the world and still capsize. Why am I mentioning about yachts capsizing? Well I know how easy it is to capsize in a dinghy and wondered if the same thing could happen to larger yachts…

Capsized 30 foot (9m) yacht lost its mast,  in winds 25 knots, swells about three metres, seven kilometres off coast of Tasmania, Australia here 24 March 2013
Rolled 38 foot (11.6m) yacht in conditions of 50mph (75kph) winds and 30ft waves 700km east of Tonga, South Pacific  here 11/11/2012
British man drowns after 30 foot (9m) yacht capsizes off the Coast Galacia in Spain here 15/10/12
Top ocean racing yacht capsizes with crew of 21 people  here 1/11/2012
34 foot (10m) yacht with 27 people on board, three drowned, Oyster Bay, New York, here, 4/7/2012

My condolences to those who have lost loved ones at sea.

The Reef (2010)

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The Reef (2010)

Australian Horror Film, based on true events of a similar incident in 1983.
A very good B rate suspense film.
Watching this film from a boating perspective gave it an extra dimension. I did go to sleep thinking briefly that I would never go in the sea again. But by morning all was forgotten. Brilliant short term memory!

A delivery skipper is moving a sailing vessel from Australia to Indonesia. He invites along for the ride, one experienced sailor,  a former girlfriend, and her brother and his wife. Making a total of five people. And things go wrong….

NAVIGATING USING A WATCH
I learnt something while watching a horror film. No, no, no, it wasn’t to run towards the strange sound in the darkness. I mean something practical like finding direction using your watch. It’s a pity at the moment that I prefer to use my digital watch while at sea which wouldn’t be very helpful in an emergency. Oh well at least I would know the time and it is waterproof after all.  There is a difference  between whether you are in the southern or northern hemispheres though. In the film they were in Australia so the skipper held his watch horizontally, pointed the number twelve on his watch towards the sun, noted the direction between the hour hand and the twelve and that was north. You can check for yourself if you happen to be in the northern hemisphere. But tell me what happens if you are near the equator? What then?

One point I did take away with me in the film was that having flippers and a snorkel mask on board is rather handy. A wet suit would be useful too if you are into diving or snorkeling or boat bottom cleaning.

If you happen to be in the water with a shark nearby, and there are other people in the water with you, you should all come together in a huddle, giving the appearance of being larger than reality. Facing the shark might deter it. But I personally would rather look away. They say with a bear you should always face it and walk away slowly. Not that I have ever encountered a bear or a shark.

But what went wrong?

(SPOILER ALERT – kind of)

DIDN’T CHECK THE CHARTS
The skipper wanting to impress his ex-girlfriend and takes them on a detour to an island with a reef on the first day of the journey. A reef that he has never been to before. He doesn’t check the tides properly or the depth of the water for anchoring. He is too busy trying to impress.

NO LIFE RAFT
He is skippering a boat into international waters, he needs to have a life raft surely to be able to leave Australian waters.

OLD EPRIB (Emergency Position Radio Indicating Beacon)
He has one on board but it only works if there is a plane flying overhead according to the skipper in the film.

NO LIFE JACKETS
How he can be a skipper I have no idea. There were no life jackets on board. They did however have wetsuits for all on board.

NO FRESH WATER
Skipper and others swam away to find Turtle Island without water. They had one tiny bottle between five people. Dehydration alert.

NO METHOD OF COMMUNICATION
There was no VHF radio, no portable secondary mode of communication.

NO FLARES

NO NAVIGATION RECHECKS
The skipper lined up the 12 hand on his watch and found north, but part way through his swimming to the island he had to deal with a shark and he was facing all directions under the sun. Disorientated I would say. He then swam off again towards Turtle Island, an island that you couldn’t see on the horizon. So in theory he should have been checking each time they stopped.

There may have been more errors but that’s enough I think to get into a spot of trouble. Could there be more? Watch it yourself. Enjoy!