WHAT TO TAKE
NEVER COMPROMISE SAFETY. Whether
you’re in very deep water or traveling over the shallow Bahamas banks,
you’ll deal with issues quite different
from what you’ve encountered while
boating stateside, and you’ll be beyond
our safety nets. Examples of minimum necessary safety items include:
A MODERN EPIRB AND/OR A
PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACON (PLB)
registered at www.beaconregistra-tion.noaa.gov where you’ve also filed,
in the comments section, your trip
float plan. Rent an EPIRB at www.
TYPE 1 OFFSHORE LIFE JACKET for
each person, with strobe light, whistle,
and ideally a PLB attached to each.
A GOOD GPS CHARTPLOTTER WITH
UPDATED CARTOGRAPHY for the area.
We use a Standard Horizon CP300i with
C-Map Max cartography. The GPS antenna is integral to the chartplotter enabling
us to transfer it from mothership to tender, increasing our enjoyment and safety.
PAPER CHARTS that you study
in advance and on which you religiously plot your position. You need
a backup, with position noted in
regular time intervals, in case something happens to your electronics.
A GOOD PAIR OF BINOCULARS WITH
INTERNAL LIT RANGE-BEARING
COMPASS. We use the Steiner 7x50
Commander XP with Compass binoculars. You can shake water off
the lenses so that it’s easier to
quickly remove salt spray.
ENOUGH FOOD AND
WATER TO LAST A
WEEK, even if you plan
to stop in marinas.
A DINGHY WITH
cially if you plan
to anchor out.
to experience the coral
reefs up close. You’ll
see them from a flybridge, but it’s not the
same as jumping in. In
the winter, bring a wet
suit or neoprene skin.
AT LEAST TWO VHF RADIOS. You should
have a handheld, powered by replaceable
off-the-shelf batteries, in addition to one
or more permanently mounted VHFs.
Photo: Bernadette Bernon
44 | BoatU.S. Magazine
OCTOBER | NOVEMBER 2011