I don't think this has been mentioned but Don and co kept a blog with the daily exploits of their voyage, Voyage of the Bounty Boat
I don't think the boat had any special buoyancy aids, this was an open boat that was supposed to be a replica of the original (except slightly smaller). Ration quantities and navigation
aids etc were the same - ie. not enough food
and little more than a sextant
. However they did have an emergency navstation which could be fired up to show a local chart if they thought their lives were in danger
, and they did use this at least once, e.g when sighting breaking waves ahead in the dark told them they were heading for some reefs
of unknown extent.
Doing the whole thing on an open boat with not enough food
struck me as pretty crazy, more so than these solo circumnavigations, however the region they were passing through is not very remote
so I guess rescue
wouldn't have been too far away if they had come a cropper. Note that Mike Perham was originally going to be on this voyage but ended up becoming Jessica Watson's boyfriend instead, as you can imagine her was pretty gutted....
One of the bizarrest things I thought was that Don spent ages trying to hand pick and train up an exceptionally reslient crew for what he knew would be a very demanding and dangerous voyage, but so many candidates dropped out after gettig cold feet (or in Perham's case being too ill) that he ended up simply picking his crew about a week before departure, one of whom was an 18 year old British student with no sailing experience whatsoever! I thought Abby Sunderland's voyage was a rush job but this takes the ship's biscuit!