Emerald Tales

Summer 2015: in the Greek Ionian

25 September 2015 | Agia Effimia, Kefalonia
25 September 2015 | Fiskardo, Kefalonia
21 September 2015 | Vathi, Ithaka
12 September 2015 | Vonitsa, Vlicho, Sivota: Ionian Greece
27 August 2015 | Preveza, Koukouvitsa, Vonitsa: Ionian Greece
25 August 2015 | Vonitsa
22 August 2015 | Agia Effimia, Kefalonia
16 August 2015 | Vathi, Ithaka
07 August 2015 | Mitika, Greece
22 January 2015 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
12 December 2014 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
05 December 2014 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
18 November 2014 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
02 November 2014 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
18 October 2014 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
03 October 2014 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
28 September 2014 | Porto Palo, Sicily
26 September 2014 | Syracuse, Sicily
22 September 2014 | Syracuse, Sicily

Inside our liferaft

18 February 2013 | Ocean Safety, Southampton
Pic: Trying out our liferaft for size

At the weekend we took a trip with our liferaft down to Ocean Safety in Southampton who were running an open day. Here we could leave our raft for servicing but before that we would be able to open, inflate it and familiarise ourselves with it so that in the unfortunate event we have to abandon ship we have an idea of what to expect from it.

In normal use the raft remains inside it's plastic canister in a cradle on the back deck and would never be opened apart from during servicing or in an emergency.

The day started with us cursing ourselves for forgetting to take the raft off the boat before we'd come out of the water and trying to lower the very heavy thing off the boat.

At Southampton we were met by friendly staff and shown around the facility before being directed to a service technician. We watched as the liferaft was unpacked and each part was described for us. First the painter and hydrostatic valve were removed (we would be inflating in a controlled manner using an electric pump rather than by the gas cylinder that would be fired in an emergency) and the tape removed from the liferaft box to reveal the raft itself.

The raft is supposed to be within a vacuum sealed plastic bag but we were very disappointed to see what looked like moisture inside ours. On closer inspection we found squares of gaffer tape covering up small holes in the bag! The gaffer tape had peeled off and let water in. ADEC Marine who had carried out our last service had put these pieces of gaffer tape on rather than using a new bag as they should have done. Suffice to say, given that we'd paid over 400 for our last service, we weren't very happy with them.

Gaffer tape over holes
Pic: Gaffer tape covering holes in a supposedly vacuum sealed bag

Luckily there didn't seem to be any damage caused by the moisture, just a bit of mould that would be dried and cleaned off as part of our current service. More of an annoyance than anything but glad it had been found before any damage had been caused to a potentially life saving bit of kit.

Then onto the inflation and a chance to get inside. We have a Plastimo Offshore Plus 6 man raft so it was very spacious for just 2 of us. Within the raft are several survival packs that we were taken through; there are items such as flares, a bailer, paddle, fishing line, emergency food rations, first aid kit and water. Oh, and a pair of my prescription glasses that I had packed in last time. The liferaft has a flashing light, ladders to aid climbing into it, a covered canopy so that we can seal ourselves inside, has a built in water catcher for catching rain and drogues that we can trail to stabilise the raft in heavy seas. We took a look at the underside of the raft where there are weighted sea anchors and discussed how we might try and right it if the raft did end up the wrong way round.

So, a very useful trip to have the opportunity to get to know our liferaft - although we're hoping we never have to put it into practice!
Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
Extra: Escaped summer 2009.
If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg. Apsley Cherry Garrard
Emerald's Photos - Emerald Tales (Main)
3 Photos
Created 30 August 2011
Falmouth to Essex via Orkney
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 12 August 2011
Documenting installing a skylight over the Saloon on Emerald
4 Photos
Created 2 March 2011
Step by step photos of our quest to insulate and refresh the 'guest room' on Emerald
21 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
Here we'll document the restoration of Crazy Horse our 6ft BarrowBoat from neglected relic to beautiful rowing/sailing/outboard powered tender to Emerald
13 Photos
Created 11 January 2010
The Wine cupboard built under the TV to hold our wedding glasses and some of our home made wine
5 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 11 January 2010
Step by step shots of the Refleks Heater installation
35 Photos
Created 26 November 2008
Showing the before / during / after (if I ever finish it!) of the forward head restoration.
19 Photos
Created 12 October 2008
Showing how our canopy works from a complete enclosure through to tropics mode!!!
23 Photos
Created 10 October 2008
To show the steps through a complete mast overhaul
36 Photos
Created 10 October 2008
To show before and after shots of the Chart table refurb.
9 Photos
Created 10 October 2008
To show modifications to aft cabin as we go
13 Photos
Created 10 October 2008