Well, tis Summer, and tis time to hit the waves... Being a twice-tried drowning expert, I thought I might throw out a quick bit of advice concerning boating safety... (Besides we get this kind of weather with little warning...)
First, go to the United States Coast Gard Boating Safety Resource Center and read! Having memorized that site, the rest should be gravy, but here goes...
- First, know yourself... No one is as good on the water as he thinks he is. That's why there are so many dead seasoned sailors and fishermen.
- Next, know your boat... No one's boat is as dependable as he thinks it is, especially in surprise conditions like this...
- Buy the best PFDs available. Buy the ones that you and your guests want to wear. Price is absolutely no object. Buy a PFD that you'll look forward to wearing and wear it from sand to sand -- that is, wear it from terra firma to terra firma. And always wear a PFD when on docks!
- Don't drink and boat. Duh!!!
- Always file a float plan with several sources and follow through.
- Never be without communication and location. (Another "Duh!!!)
- Be polite... There are a ton of people out there who are beginners.
- The air temp on water will probably differ from that on land -- pack an extra set of sweats and a knit cap, as well as dressing in zippered clothing. Be ready to be cold or hot depending on the Gods. Also, uncle Charlie's straw hat might just come in handy...
- Water and snacks are critical...
- Did you forget your medication?
- Suppose you have to go to the bathroom or get seasick?
- Do you have rope and know how to use it?
- A carry flashlight and sharp knife are musts!
- Are you keeping dry stuff dry? Really?
- Do keys float?
By the dock and the feeder...
Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: Inside Birding
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