26 days before we cast off, we phase out and test our old SeaGo life raft with the help of the skipper on Njord, lying next to us. We have purchased a similar new 6 person offshore life raft from SeaSafe. See how such a raft unfolds in the video.
Now, we have learned a little about how such a small life raft works.
The life raft is inflated slowly, and when the ribbons around the raft burst, the white covers fall to the sides. One cover, however, hangs in the fastening strap and only falls off when the strap is cut free by the boat. This means that it is possible to keep the raft as close to the boat as possible as allowed by wind and waves when you release it. Less force is needed to pull the raft closer to the ship.
We also tried to turn the fleet from a position upside down. This is done using a strap that sits across the bottom of the raft, standing on the raft edge and pulling on the strap. Here we learned from the skipper of Njord that you have to hold on to the strap since the fleet will often land on top of your head. In this case, you have to stay calm hold on to the strap and use the strap to pull yourself out to the edge of the raft.
The raft knife to be used to cut the strap free had a thick plastic shrink wrap around the sharp blade. It was impossible to get it off, and we had to use a knife. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a knife in the grab bag.
There was no mirror and the lights no longer worked. So bring an extra flashlight.
There were very visible seasick pills in the fleet, and according to skipper Njord you have to take them immediately because seasick people report quickly and safely on board a fleet.
There was no fishing tackle… so you can not serve sushi. There is no food on board.
A good grab bag should be ready, and one should add Epirb, handheld VHF, and satellite phone. Remember water and ship’s papers. +++