One Hand for the Boat. One for Yourself.

One hand for the boat; one for yourself. It’s a mantra repeated over and over by experienced boaters. Don’t let go of the boat. How many times I pointed out to Nat that he was standing in the dinghy with nothing in his hands; that he walked the length of the boat with little care to hold on.

Anchored in Regatta Bay, I was working down below while Nat learned to row the inflatable. I heard him come to the side of the boat, slide the oars into the cockpit, then little sound for a while until SPLASH!

By the time got my head outside he was swimming toward the boat. PFD holding him well out of the water; dinghy painter in his teeth, he was dog paddling – you couldn’t call it swimming – toward the boat.

After putting the oars into our boat he had planned to tie the dinghy to the boat. But he had let go and the wind had another idea. Now he was getting back to the boat the best he could.

We had another talk. But I think this experience might stick better. We will see.

Nathaniel Tows the Dinghy Home

PSPS - Nathaniel

JM – Commander (iPad sketch using Art Set app)

Does Someone Need A Power Squadron Refresher?

A couple of recent marine accidents make me wonder if some of the professionals need to take a Power and Sail Squadron refresher course. Perhaps navigation?

In the first case a professional pilot working in San Francisco Bay crashed an empty oil tanker into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Apparently the damage was ‘relatively’ minor, but it is still somewhere north of $500,000. The pilot in question has had a few more ‘oops’ events in the last few years. Looks like he could use a navigation refresher. Here are some details.

The second more serious accident happened in New York City as one of the commuter ferries rammed into the dock injuring at least 57 people, 11 of them seriously. There may be some extenuating circumstances, but it still would be good for them to take a refresher. Here is a link to more information.

Taking a course with the Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron is a great way to learn important navigation and boat handling skills from experienced boaters and sailors. Here’s a link to more for more information.

Parry Sound October 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam – mid-December Issue

The Beacon Star’s Season’s Greetings issue had a photo of future members of the squadron on their cover (bottom right). Their photo was taken as they rode on the squadron’s Santa Claus parade float a few weeks ago. Check it out; they had their life jackets on.

A squadron member has passed on a video link reinforcing why it’s a good idea to attach  furniture to the floor and/or wall when you head out to sea. Despite the video’s title it apparently is a Pacific Sun Cruise liner riding out a storm off the coast of New Zealand on July 30th 2010.

Happy holidays to all. It’s a great time to think about upgrading or refreshing your boating skills. Check out the Parry Sound squadron’s course offerings for 2013.

White Squall – A Reprise?

Those of you who attended the Squadron’s movie series last winter will remember the movie – White Squall. It concerned the unexpected and tragic sinking of the brigantine style training ship The Albatross. A short summary of the movie and the real life story can be found at the earlier post.

This movie is brought to mind by the similarly tragic sinking of the HMS Bounty as it crossed the path of Hurricane Sandy. The cause of the sinking is easily understood, a hurricane, rather than a mystery, as it was with a presumed white squall that hit The Albatross. Fortunately the crew of the HMS Bounty saw what was coming and were better prepared. There is only one reported death, although it seems the captain who is missing, most likely has perished. Even survival suits and life jackets can only provide a limited amount of protection when we move into late October temperatures.

This type of accident is not supposed to happen, but it does much too often. That’s why we need to know how to operate our boats, why we need to carry at least the legally mandated safety equipment, and why we should always have a rehearsed plan for handling an on-water accident/disaster.

It’s time to think about getting the knowledge you need to operate your boat safely. That means much more than just having ‘The Card’. We’ll soon be posting information on the courses that will be offered by the Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron in 2013. Register, learn to boat more safely, and have fun out on the water.

Yacht Accident a Reminder to Boat Safe and Boat Smart

There was a report today that 3 children were killed in a boating accident off of New York’s Long Island. The 1984 Silverton of unspecified length was carrying 27 people at the time it capsized Wednesday night after watching the local fireworks (sound familiar?). Twenty-four passengers and crew were rescued by fellow boaters but the children, 8, 11 and 12 were apparently trapped below deck. There are reports the boat was swamped by another vessel which can only suggest the boat was unreasonably overloaded.

If you are reading this you already know better. But it’s still a good idea to point out potential safety risks to other boaters that got the ‘card’ but didn’t get the ‘education’. It may annoy them, but ‘better safe than sorry’.

It was fun watching local boaters, I estimate more than 200 boats, leave after the Canada Day fireworks in Parry Sound. They were smart enough to be careful because there certainly is the opportunity for an accident with that many boats heading down the South Channel.