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Sep
28

Stormy Times Ahead?

This week we have been enjoying some stunning sun shine with unseasonably high temperatures.  All reports are that it will continue into the week end.  It’s the perfect opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy it while it lasts.

At this time of year though the weather can change quickly.  If you are heading out for a day on the water there are a few thing you should know to help you stay safe if conditions take a dramatic turn for the worst:

 

  • Get an up to date and detailed weather forecast and check for updates regularly.  It’s best to avoid sailing in bad weather all together.  We all know the threats of high winds, squalls, lightening and towering waves.  If you must head out be aware of the dangers posed by dehydration, hypothermia and even heat stroke.
  • Use smaller sales if you have them.  Allow more time for sail changes and tacks and jibes in rough conditions.  If you don’t have smaller sails, reduce the ones you’ve got.
  • Drop all sails, fix the helm and allow the boat to drift.  This is know as lying ahull.  This should not be done if the conditions are too extreme as the boat is at the mercy of the sea.
  • Drop the anchor.  This will slow the boat’s progress and keep it pointed in one direction.
  • Don’t surf!  Hang a looped rope from the stern, preferably reaching two waves back.  This is called a tail warp and can help avoid surfing too fast down the face of a wave.  Similarly you can use sea anchors or drogues.

You will no doubt carry out regular checks on your safety equipment e.g. life jackets, flares, first aid kit etc.  Don’t forget to include a check over of your optical devices too.  A blow to your binoculars can knock the prisms out of alignment and render them useless.

Binoculars should not be over looked as an important safety aid.  They are useful for spotting buoys and markers, other vessels and land marks.  Being able to spot another boat in distress could mean the difference between life and death.

In addition to binoculars, consider the benefits of a good quality night vision device.  Not only could they provide an invaluable ocean safety tool, they are useful when mooring and navigating  too.  At Opticalia we stock a wide range of high quality Luna Optic night vision scopes, night vision binoculars and night vision goggles.

To get a quote for binocular repairs:

www.binocular-repairs.com

Show your support to the RNLI at:

http://www.facebook.com/rnli

 

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