When sailing shorthanded, as Connie and I do continuously on Waiata, do you go forward during a shift when you’re the only one awake?
We have a rule onboard which goes like this:
- Calm weather you can go forward as far as the shroud to do checks, BUT you must be wearing your lifejacket with PLB attached.
- If night or rougher weather you can go forward as far as the shrouds BUT you must be wearing your lifejacket with PLB and hooked onto the Jacklines.
- If you need to go further forward for any reason you MUST wake up the other party, wear your lifejacket, PLB and if rough clip on.
You might ask “don’t you wear your life jacket at all time?”. Well the answer is no, not whilst “inside” the boat or “inside” the cockpit and helm enclosures. We are sailing for days at a time and lifejackets become uncomfortable. Better for them to be part of a formal risk management strategy than just always worn and not a conscious thought given to the risk.