Want to learn more from the Bosun’s Locker? It’s all right here along with that tarred flagon of hawser.
In all my time sailing, I’ve only fallen overboard once – unintentionally. It was early fall and just on the cold side. I had multiple layers on including a thick wool sweater. Over that a light rain coat and cycling rain pants. I was leaving Port Hadlock completing a solo sail in the San Juans. I was departing from the beach as I often do. I had been chatting to a guy on his boat (The new owner of Tolfea, Matt Johnson’s and then Andy Deltoff’s Wharram Tangaroa Mk I) that was at the dock 15 m away. As I pushed off a creosote soaked piling with a bamboo pole to clear the obstructions, the pole slipped. I followed the trajectory of the pole and then I was in the water. When I came up the boat, my Wharram Tiki 26 – Tsunamichaser with sails up and just catching the zephyr of a wind ghosted away. Here the story could have gone two ways but I have a workboat mentality – never on deck without a work vest PFD. I hooked the boat with the pole but the real difference compared to the story below was that I WAS wearing my PFD. If I hadn’t been the story may have ended differently. The other guy on the other boat never even realized I had gone in the water until he saw me on deck dripping wet pulling off the layers. His head was in the forward lazarette finding treasures. His focus elsewhere. It’s easy to wear your PFD especially in cold environments. They provide a boost to core insulation. Get it on!