Monday, June 25, 2012

Making Boarding a Little Less Adventurous, Part III

As Eric explained in two previous posts, after he accidentally fell into the water while taking out the trash, we decided we needed to make a few changes to our boarding practices. The very first thing we did was commit to paying attention to what we are doing while getting on and off the boat (the root cause of why Eric slipped). Next, we rearranged our lifelines, so they were less cumbersome, and we installed a set of secure boarding steps, which makes boarding during high tide less of a gamble.

With these changes in place, boarding Sea Gem was a breeze. In fact, the only remaining safety concern was boarding at night (or the early morning) while it is dark. Truthfully, boarding at night was never that challenging (of course, neither was boarding during the day, yet he still managed to fall in). Our marina is lit well enough to ensure that, even in the dark, you can see where the dock ends and the water begins. However, since none of the marina lighting is particularly bright, we thought the addition of some strategically placed lights could only make things safer. Eric installed two small solar lights on deck by where we board (see them below in red), so we can see where we are stepping, even when it is dark: 

These lights charge on sunlight during the day and emit a soft glow when night falls:

While not blinding, the light put out by these lights is just bright enough to cut through the darkness and help us see precisely where (and where not) our feet should go. They are our boat's equivalent of a porch light. So far, boarding in the dark has proven uneventful. And considering we'll soon have some very precious cargo in our hands, we want to keep it that way.

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