But what about the resolutions we make with regard to the safe operation of our own sailboats and cruisers? How many times have you heard a fellow voyager say “Ya know, the next time we’re out, we ought to do a man overboard drill” or “I need to post instructions for how to broadcast a Mayday in the nav station.” With full knowledge that seamanship resolutions may have the same chance of succeeding as those we make about our behavior on land, I nonetheless suggest that we resolve to do the following:
Suppose you’re heading off on a two-day race and some of your crew haven’t sailed with you before. They come highly recommended, but they don’t know your boat or your standard operating procedures. What should you discuss with them as you head for the starting line?
As I was leaving the boat around 1630, having completed my chores for the day, I gathered my gear and prepared to get off onto the dock. I stepped out the shrink wrap door, I put my right foot on a boarding step, and my knee promptly gave way. My left leg was still on deck but was tangled up in the shrink wrap zipper that was inside the door. I fell backwards with my head in the water between the boat and the dock. Try as I might, I could not pull myself back up onto the boat. My left foot was at deck level. The water was cold!!