Well, another Bank Holiday weekend is upon us and the weather is looking actually quite nice. Very cold to start the day on Saturday and Sunday, but set to warm up quickly – bright on Saturday, cloudier on Sunday and middling on Monday.
Thing is, whilst the sun may well be out and the wind fairly gentle, PLEASE make sure that you’re equipped – both personally and for likely conditions.
Manor Park is an old gravel pit – that means that it’s very deep in many parts, which in turn means that it’s always likely to be a lot colder than you think. Going afloat in Jeans and T-Shirts is just not a wise idea – even in the most apparently whispiest of breezes. One gust is all it can take to blow you over and into the water. Jeans get very heavy, have no insulating capacity and are simply inappropriate to be honest.
The sun is as strong at this time of year as it is in August – but that water still hasn’t taken on much heat – Hypothermia is a very real risk. (As is sunburn) Wetsuits / Wetshoes can be purchased at very reasonable prices and will provide much more warmth if/when you do get wet: Check this page http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4673903_a-wetsuit-work.html
Buoyancy aids… VITAL! DON’T GO ON THE WATER WITHOUT ONE!!!
If you don’t have your own, then the club ones are available for use BUT you MUST make sure they’re fitted correctly.
They must be fitted so as not to be able to lift up on your shoulders and, if fitted, the crotch-strap MUST be used.
How about your capsize recovery skills? – Capsizing is part of the sport. It WILL happen to you – usually when you least expect it.
Are you versed in righting your boat? Can you actually do it? – have you practiced recently? What if you have passengers with you? ….
Our training team are more than happy to help you with this – they could even turn your capsize drill into a good fun exercise.
The over-riding point here is: “BE SAFE!” Remember what it is that we’re doing – floating around on deep water in about 15 feet of Fibreglass / Wood.
Each time you go afloat ask: Am I prepared? – what if the weather changes? Is my boat prepared? If I go out and something happens, can I get myself back?
Sailing is fantastic. MPSC is a brilliant place to do it….but just remember to spend a little time preparing both yourself, your boat and any passengers (I do a brief safety talk with anyone I take out for example – what to expect, what to do in a capsize etc)
Lets have fun anyway, I’ll see you over the weekend at some point