Reality check

Had one of those reality check moments sitting here in my kitchen this morning, reading the ‘Derry skipper’s report on retrieving the crew member washed overboard.

We all know from executing our regular man overboard (MOB) drills (as part of our training) that items/MOB floating in the water are relatively difficult to track at medium distance even when the sea is flat, it must be ‘worst nightmare’ territory when massive waves + poor visibility are liberally added to the equation.

MOB drills were really pushed in training + I suspect I wasn’t alone in feeling ‘We did that yesterday/this morning/twice already, I’d really like/need to practice … racing sail changes (or whatever)’. Our Skip from this last weekend had said that there had been a number of tethered man overboard incidents (you get washed over the handrail but are still tied to the boat) but what if it was you in the water? I now appreciate why it was the one technique that was repeatedly practiced almost above other manoeuvres on the sail training last weekend. Clearly I am not the only one to give the possibilities a lot more thought – ‘loosing’ that chap for an hour while he floated in the ocean has made everybody sit up a bit.

The Pacific must seem an impossibly large place in those circumstances.

… but that said I look at the photographs posted and still think ‘I really want to do that’. Two days now till I leave Oxfordshire. Cannot quite get my mind round that …


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