Originally Posted by sailaway21
We've seen two instances in the last month where sailors departed their vessel while the vessel was still afloat. In either case I suspect that Capt. Bligh would have found either vessel to be far superior to that to which he was consigned. Is all of our attention focused on rescue, to the detriment of giving up the ship? From those who venture far offshore I'd be interested in what you've outfitted in these areas and others. Thanks in advance.
An interesting take on this is the terrifying but educational "Rescue in the Pacific" http://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Pacific.../dp/0070213674
which I heartily recommend. Although the story takes place in 1994, most of the technological fixes available to us now were available then in less flashy form. Without giving much away, the "post mortem" of a weather bomb that caught nine mid-sized yachts on passage concluded that EPIRBs were of far greater value than liferafts in certain extreme conditions; that variations of white are essentially stupid colours for yachts in storms; and that while a surprising number of the nine yachts endured punishing dismastings (shroud cutters come after EPIRBs in "crucial storm gear"), five abandoned boats continued to float, some of which grounded on reefs and others that were recovered and/or salvaged.
It appears that many of today's vessels are in fact well-found, but that their design in a heavy seaway can rapidly fatigue the crew to the point of deadly exhaustion. Not many sailors today can heave to, it seems (not that this was an option in some of the more insane conditions), and not many boats are readily capable of heaving to, either.