We had the liferaft serviced today in Palma Majorca. And because it was a few years since it was last out of its shell, I thought it would be good to see it exploded. The liferaft technicians were very thorough and checked it visually first. They unpacked it, checked the cylinder and valves and then pulled the inflation cord. The raft filled up well and was in as-new condition no need for concern.

As usual in a life-raft service, the bill gets expensive. The compressed air tank is refilled There needs to be new food in the raft, new torches, water, flares, smoke canisters, flashing lights etc. We took the old stuff back to the boat, to try a liferaft meal – biscuits of compressed fat were probably high energy but disgusting. If you spent long in a liferaft, you would get spots!

We bought a Jon Buoy also for the Atlantic Crossing. With our experiences of rough seas this year, we realise it would be difficult to see a man-overboard in a life ring in big seas. The Jon Buoy is an inflatable life-ring with a high visibility flag and flashing light built in – and a rescue sling to enable someone to be winched out of the water if needed. We also had the Jon Buoy customer fitted with an automatic AIS transmitter so its position would show up on our chart plotter.

On the subject of life preservation, we also have two EPIRB transmitters onboard. If tripped, these send a satellite based emergency distress call by satellite from any worldwide location.