Years (decades?) ago I was a novice sailor on board the Annapolis Sailing School''s O''Day 30 "Magic." The instructor asked our class what we should do if someone fell off the boat.
I answered, "honk this sucker around, drop the sails, and start the engine." She gave me a slightly patronizing smile. Silly boy. At the time I had never sailed anything larger than a Laser, what did I know?
Then, we proceeded to practice the classic MOB recovery technique, which we all know by now: Bear away, come about, luff alongside the MOB, recover.
Our boatfull of rookies repeated the manuever perfectly, nearly every time--with our instructor''s coaching, of course.
I remember thinking, "gee, this is great if you have Team Stars & Stripes on board, one man per sheet, one person at the helm, and a spotter." I always wondered how this complex series of manuevers would work if I was alone, and/or in difficult conditions. Thank goodness I''ve never had to recover anything more dear than a tennis shoe.
As I have gained more sailing experience over the years, I''ve come to the conclusion that my original idea was pretty good. "Honk that sucker around, drop the sails, and start the engine."