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Not that I ever had any doubts that she would, Rebecca has been kicking butt in her course this week. So far she has achieved 100% (or very close to it) on all of the written quizzes and tests and of course, has been doing great with the physical material. Yesterday, she and her classmates spent time in the pool working on sea survival strategies. This included instruction in how to safely jump into the water from a height (off a high ship for example), deploy, right and maintain liferafts, and use various flotation aides.

One of the devices that Rebecca and one of her classmates got to try out was a cold water immersion suit, aka a survival suit. I remember wearing the suit myself when I did the class last year and it’s amazing how buoyant it makes you. Although, in the blazing Trinidad sunshine, it’s hard to attest to its effectiveness in preventing hypothermia, that is one of the things that these suits are designed for.

As the risk of a catamaran inverting is somewhat greater than it sinking altogether, I have read that some cat owners feel that having immersion suits is more important than having a liferaft. We have neither but I can understand the logic. Keeping a couple of immersion suits on board would also cost a lot less than having an inflatable liferaft that must be re-certified every couple of years.

As for me, yesterday I completed the online exams for the PPR course, the final piece required to get the commercial endorsement on my Yachtmaster license. I’m going to try to get everything copied today and sent off to the UK via Fed Ex.


  1. Hello Mike…I wanted to comment about the Lagoon that hit the reef. My husband and I were docked at Nanny Cay when Husky Salvage brought in the boat. It was one of the saddest things we have ever seen considering most of us feel our boats are a part of the family. The back story is this boat had just been delivered from the factory in France to the owners. It was the owners’ second day out when they made a navigational error. Understandably, they were very shaken and upset. But nevertheless they got “back on the horse” and chartered another boat for a couple of days to rebuild their confidence. I commend them for their commitment to sailing; I myself probably would never set foot on a boat again if I experienced that. Also it is a testament to the services of Husky Salvage. The water was so shallow and the waves too powerful, there was no way they could “lift” the boat off the reef to deeper water immediately. They were on the scene within 45 minutes but it took many thinking minds and a lot of hours to work out the solution.

  2. If youre thinking of getting immersion suits, dont even think of paying retail! Email me 😉

  3. In many survival classes, a crucial thing they don’t teach is how people are spotted successfully…grab as much line as possible and obviously a knife, when in the water tie the line intelligently to all life jackets (and anything else that floats), from the air a straight line of orange or blinking dots is much more visible and easier to rescue. Then use the knife to cut whatever needs to be cut when something sinks or rescue comes or whatever. The percentages favor visibility and heat retention (wear as many clothes as possible in the immersion suit). I cant imagine being separated at sea from a loved one because I couldn’t hold on any longer. Long comment sorry but a few professional mariners died very quickly in the English channel in a t-bone accident this week, happens far too often.

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