Read on! The video at the end is a real treat!
This weekend was the start of the ARC Caribbean 1500 Rally. The marina at Portsmouth Virginia had 35 sailboats flying the rally flag and preparing their boat for departure. On Saturday they began their sail from Portsmouth to Tortola. Ben and I were invited to join the festivities as a media team and to give a seminar.
On Friday morning we gave our seminar titled, Leadership and Crew Dynamics to a group of eager sailors. We demonstrated new ways of communicating and then got them turning to each other to set goals for the voyage, establish guidelines for shipboard culture, and practice ways of addressing issues that might arise.
Our primary role at the rally was as Team Media! We photographed each crew aboard their vessel. We interviewed sailors, and we filmed events.
One of the most exciting events was the safety demonstration. Ben and I have sailed aboard many vessels with inflatable life rafts and have practiced abandon ship drills. However, this was the first time we have seen a life raft deploy. It’s so expensive to have them re-packed and certified, that most sailors will never deploy their life raft, unless it is a true emergency. One way to observe your life raft being deployed is ask the service center if you can be present the next time it needs to be re-certified.
The World Cruising Club rallies require participants to carry SOLAS flares instead of the standard USCG flares. Despite having a shorter burn time, they believe they are still more effective because they are brighter. They suggested setting off two flares, one after the other, to increase the duration and allow the rescuer to confirm what they are seeing in the distance.
To see the life raft deploy and two types of safety flares take a look at this video. Then answer this question in the comments below:
Would you rather have the USCG flares, which burn three times as long as the SOLAS flares, or the SOLAS flares, which are brighter? Why?