One could pose the rhetorical question “What does a sailor bring to a blind date?”. Based on the title some search engines will be here for the wrong reasons! My experiences with crewing & sailing meet-ups are very similar to blind dates. Some can be wonderful and the beginning of new friendships while others are problematic and to be avoided in the future. Certainly, my experiences with the crew of S/V Duck Soup have been auspicious. A new network of friends who are well skilled sailors of even temperament. I can only hope that I give to them the same friendship and courtesies they have extended to me.
Other settings have stretched me into areas of “more challenge than I anticipated” resulting in considerable discomfort. Moving L’Amarre from Charleston to Marthas Vineyard via the gulf stream in early April is the prime example. Three days, out of five, that required “one hand for me & one for the boat” along with only bottled water and power bars quietly characterizes the last 3 days approaching Marthas Vineyard.
Finally, there are times to just get off. I consistently need to appraise the balance between aspiration, discomfort, & safety. There are times of self honesty when the answer is simply…….just get off. So….An appropriate question for me had been “What do you take on a blind date?”.
These are my choices for personal safety gear. My life vest, a retaining strap to keep the life vest from escaping over my head, and D rings to clip off my dual tether are with me every trip. Since I’m in Puget Sound, the life vest is aways worn. If I’m working on the deck, especially offshore, the tether is always used. The other devices (radio, compass, gps, headlamp, Spot satellite communicator, knee pads, & weatherman) are equally important but will not keep me on the boat. I understand that this list my not be yours and may well be adjusted based on the setting of your voyage. This for me is a situationally based bare bones kit. Let me know what your experience has been. I welcome your thoughts.
Be well…..Fair Winds…..