The story of Topaz Rival

Sailing adventures of one man and his dog. Please feel free to leave a comment!

Getting wet and lifelong learning

Have spent the last couple of days in the classroom and swimming pool doing a refresher for the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Sea Survival course, plus the World Sailing/RYA Offshore Safety Course. The main lessons are don’t fall overboard and only use the liferaft if you really have to! Richard (Atlantic crossing crew member) also did the courses and we will both be attending the liferaft service when the raft is inflated in front of us so we can see what is inside - and the best way to get in. As you can imagine it is not easy to climb into a liferaft wearing a life jacket, even in the tranquil waters of a swimming pool. The instructors add a bit of atmosphere by spraying you with a hose and buckets of water and you begin to appreciate how difficult it might be if you needed to do it in bad weather. The rest of the course is in the classroom and it was good to pick the brains of an experienced instructor (who had done the ARC) and also a racing sailor (about to do a non stop race around the UK and Ireland) plus another skipper doing the ARC+ this year, albeit in the comparative luxury of a brand new Halberg Rassy 48! The World Sailing check list for offshore racing sailboats is very similar to the ARC’s requirements and we will be ticking off each item before we leave the UK, now less than a month away.


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