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Old 10-07-2006, 21:29   #16
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Well I guess but the Lifejacket does get in the way, Its good for people that have never been on a boat before, I have been on a sailboat ever since I was 7yrs old... Racing you can not have a lifejacket on because it will get in the way, therefore you would have them on the lifelines so that incase someone falls off you can throw it to them!
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Old 10-07-2006, 22:03   #17
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wait....so if you dont mid me asking: how old are you? youve been on a boat since you were 7, yet you've never had something happen when you realized lifevests may be worth something? youve never fallen off/ gotten knocked off a boat? i am only 20...and ive fallen off plenty (call me grace )

but really, i have a wet boat (hobie 16') so i always wear one, heaven knows how many times it was handy. and i have fallen off larger dryer boats both wearing a vest and not....and i will personally tell you: the former is much better.
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Old 11-07-2006, 14:52   #18
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I learned how to swim when I was little, but really don't go swimming much at all. I especially don't like to go swimming in natirual bodies of water where there are things in there that can bite you/sting, etc. This might have something to do with seeing "JAWS" at a young age and having nightmares afterward. Of course, I have on occasion jumped in and done it, but I always get the heebie-jeebies and I swear sharks can smell fear.
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Old 11-07-2006, 14:58   #19
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JP, I can smell yours from here.
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Old 11-07-2006, 16:31   #20
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Okay CJ,

That was a good one. I guess I left myself wide open for that one. My mom decided when i was about 5 or 6, maybe 7, that since she had never learned how to swim, it was important that her children learned how to do it. I had a great swimming instructor who had been an olympic swimmer in Germany. She was very nice, but I didn't get much past putting my head under water before we moved. My instructor in Baton Rouge's idea of teaching me how to swim was to throw me into the deep end and let me drown or learn to swim. Needless to say, I didn't drown. I'm not ever going to try and cross the English Channel, but I could stay afloat and probably support a child doing it.

Fear is good for it gets your cortisol levels up and your senses elevated. This also pushed your hormone levels into superdrive which is why I think sharks can smell fear. It's not so much fear but the chemical overdrive going on in your body.

Okay all you marine biologists out there. I have left myself wide open for all of you to contradict me on the olfactory system of the shark!
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Old 11-07-2006, 16:55   #21
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Beyond Fear

JPrincess,

I worked my way through college as a lifeguard/swimming instructor, and have met other instructors who used the "sink or swim" method. Often much of my task as an instructor was to slowly remove the fear instilled in the student, either from an unsupportive former teacher, some previous negative experience in the water, or adopted fear passed from parent to child. Once the fear subsides, confidence grows and gains are usually quick. Many of my students came in crying (in the case of adults, frowning), and left smiling.

One should do more than just "survive" his swimming lessons. A good instructor can make all the difference.
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Whitecaps,

What does your family think of your decision to pursue such reckless behavior? Do you have adequate life insurance (10 years of your gross income) to enable them to avoid hardship in the event you never come home?
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Old 11-07-2006, 19:18   #22
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Whitecaps,
Your excuse for not wearing a life jacket (PFD) while racing is bogus. If you were racing on my boat as a nonswimmer you would wear one or not be racing with me. I would question the abilities of your Captain if they did not require you to wear one. There are inflatables now that don't hinder a person in the least. Olympic Dinghy racers are required to wear a PFD when in competition and are DSQd if they don't. They are excellent racers who need a lot more mobility than big boat racing crew.
I know you too could be safe if you just tried. No more excuses.
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Old 11-07-2006, 19:22   #23
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Well Whitecaps the decision to wear or not to wear a PFD is your choice.

I offer the following as an injection of humor in the situation. I think that they should take the warning labels off of everything and let nature do the rest. God speed and good luck.
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Old 11-07-2006, 19:35   #24
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I am a little confused here. Rules for every club race I have participated in have required the whole crew to wear PFD's. In the way? Not in my experience. There are times when I choose not to wear one when sailing my own boat, but that is a choice I make, and I certainly support your choice to do the same. Swimmer or not. Still, Your logic confuses me. I guess the rules are different where I am.
As for swimming in the muck, I used to do some diving here in the harbor to work on fishing vessels. Visibility is true zero. To the point where a flashlight put beam to your mask can not be seen until the flashlight touches the mask. It is quite a challenge to start a prop nut under these conditions. No fear of the unknown, but I do tend to avoid going in when the sealions are around.
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Old 11-07-2006, 22:22   #25
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As confessed in the dark
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui
... but I do tend to avoid going in when the sealions are around.
I keep asking someone to hold me back, but no one is here - I bite my tongue, but the alcohol has dulled the senses, I seek to speak but Captain Morgan has spoke ahead - aye, once more you escape that rapier wit (that is lost somewhere below).

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Old 11-07-2006, 23:44   #26
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He He Haw Haw And just how far down the coast did you have to get before the Moss Landing crud washed off the bottom of your boat?
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:47   #27
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I dunno ... but I suspect it was on that run down the Sur Coast.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:02   #28
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Oh how easy it is on this forum to spot those who are uninitiated in the ways of the sea.....

Any sailor worth his salt knows that if ye can't swim then ye can't follow the skinny-dipping lasses over the side. And if ye can't do that then what's the point of being a man of the sea???

Did Captain Ron stop to don water wings before joining up with his island lass? I think not....

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Old 12-07-2006, 08:25   #29
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Fanny-packs and Drown-Proofing

Last season my wife an I experimented with wearing a “fanny-pack” style PFD. It has been much more comfortable to wear during a hot day at sea. If the weather gets rough OR dusk arrives, we ALWAYS switch to the conventional style lifejacket with built in harness, automatic inflation and strobe light. The fanny packs are fair weather, daylight ONLY and they are manual inflate. If you are unconscious when you hit then water you are SOL. We have found we are more likely to wear these in a dinghy when going ashore, as they are easy to stuff into a backpack when you reach terra firma. We bought our fanny-pack PFDs from West Marine. On the subject of swimming – do they still teach “drown-proofing”? I took a course about 40 years ago on this technique and once learned, you will die of exposure before you die of drowning and you don’t need to be able to swim to learn this. I read a reference to “drown-proofing” in a sailing safety manual, stating that this technique is no longer recommended as it has been replaced by the “HEAT” position. This meant that the author had no idea what “drown-proofing” is, as it is a technique to keep you alive without a PFD as opposed to the HEAT float position which assumes a PFD to be worn.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:14   #30
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Hypothermic Studies Yield New Techniques

Ed, I remember learning (and teaching!) those techniques, too; but that's all gone now.

Survival techniques developed by the Navy in the WWII era revolved around some variation of inflating clothing, floating supine on the surface with face submerged, and lifting one' head to breathe.

Now a better understanding of hypothermia, and its dangers in even seemingly casual situations, has prompted techniques that rely on the buoyancy of PFDs to allow heat-conserving postures to extend survival times in anticipation of rescue.

Especially, keeping one's face/head out of the water slows heat loss dramatically, e.g., no more "survivial floating".



It boils down to three prioritized actions/principles:
  • Get as much of yourself out of the water as quickly as possible, esp. before you lose the use of your hands/feet. Climbing partially out of the water onto an overturned hull is desirable, if that's what you can do.
  • Swim to safety only if it is close and you have the energy to do so. Most people have a 50% chance of successfully completing a 50-yard swim in 50° water only a few moments after entering the water.
  • Keep all your clothes on to help slow down heat loss, roll down sleeves & tighten closures (collars & cuffs), & assume a heat-conserving position

It's all about PFDs and heat-loss. The PFD has never been more intregal in terms of survivability as it is now.

Ed is being prudent, and he's right: the inflatables offer great convenience and safety at the same time. You can make all kinds of arguments you want about manual inflation, being knocked unconscious, failures to inflate, etc., but they just beg the question. What we're talking about is minimizing your risk, preparing for a dunking, and increasing your chances for easy (self) rescue or longer-term survivability if you do happen to go over.

This makes the habitual use of PFDs by swimmers and non-swimmers alike a Very Good Idea.
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