Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Eve Flare Report

We had a nice low-key New Year's Eve at the Savusavu Yacht Club, with our fellow cruisers and a bunch of local Fijians and ex-pats. Apparently nothing formal had been planned until our friends on s/v Mambo (our designated social organizers) started asking the marina if we could have a little cruiser get-together.

Sofie from s/v Equinox Examines the Bar Rules

24 hours later, the Copra Shed Marina (aka Savusavu Yacht Club) had a "barbecue" organized, a band promised (didn't materialize).

Jerry and Dave Eating (Dave is already asleep!)

After we ate, and had a few drinks, the music on the sound systems started getting louder and louder. The bar got crowded with people we didn't know. So, I have to admit that Dave and I and Jerry from Challenger sneaked out and went back to our boats at about 10pm.

Jerry Shooting Off A Cheap Flare

Dave had dug out a batch of very old expired flares. So we had fun on trying to shoot them off. They all EXPIRED between 1998 and 2003 (and yes, we've been hauling them all over the South Pacific). We had 10-12 of the small inexpensive hand-held flares, and 3 of the big Paines Wessex SOLAS-grade parachute flares.


The small cheap flares were total duds. With these, you take a cap off, pull a metal chain, and the flare is supposed flare in your hand. We pulled the chains on 12 of these expired flares and absolutely nothing happened.

Dave Gets Ready to Shoot a Big Flare

The SOLAS grade flares (originally costing about $60 each) are rocket flares that shoot into the sky, and the flare goes off, a parachute is deployed, and the burning flare drifts down slowly under parachute--remaining visible for a long time. The rocket part of our expired flares worked OK, but the flare/parachute part never ignited.

So, the moral of the story is--if you're serious about being seen in a rescue situation, make sure you have GOOD FLARES and that they are IN DATE.

A Great New Years Day Breakfast

We had a very nice New Years Day breakfast at the Copra Shed, with a bunch of the cruisers. We had cruisers from Holland, Austria, Germany, Italy, and the US, and Canada.

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