Incoming Heavy Weather? Don’t know What to do?
Head for Safety, Fast!
Inexperienced boaters and boaters sailing in waters unknown to them should always establish what the conditions are going to be before setting sail, and ideally have someone with them who will know what to do if matters get out of hand. If the weather is known to be deteriorating stay on dry land.
Keep an eye on the locals, if they are sailing chances are it is safe, if they are hunkered down stay at home. Never take risks with safety! Seasoned sea-goers will know what to look for and will take great care to keep out of trouble, amateurs take note, ideally train up first or take a pro with you. There is time during the off season to check out and book a sail training course for early next season, you know it makes sense. However, if you are fishing from a boat or fall asleep in the heat of the day, your boat may drift far from your intended landfall.
Should you sail out in the morning and find you cannot safely return to your home harbor what can you do?
Sailing the deep oceans is a sport for seasoned people who know the oceans and understand the craft of sailing, and yet they get caught out in gales, heavy seas springing up out of nowhere, not to mention accidents, disasters and illness/injuries that can occur without warning.
Most sensible sailors will carry a working radio on board with which to call for help, smaller boats and smaller cruisers may not and in the event of a power outage etc or incapacity of the skipper how will you cope?
Check out non-radio alerting systems such as flares, they have for many years served boaters who are in trouble. By informing people prior to your departure where you intend to sail to you are allowing for rescue organizations to find you in the event of difficulties occurring. Even sophisticated and experienced boaters, and professional sea-goers i.e. commercial fishing people and coastal cruise boats etc can get into difficulties, it happens, and low skilled people do find themselves in a boat without a paddle.
Boating is great fun and those water sporting activities that are boat centered are truly wonderful. To enjoy your boating to the full take safety to heart, follow the rules, take someone with who knows the ropes, if you are untrained take an expert sailor with you or use an organized and licensed local sail boat and guide, make sure there are buoyancy devices and life vests on board and they are fit for use (and that you know how to use them!).
Sail safe, sail free.