All is unlikely to be lost


Back in November, we went to the cinema to watch Robert Redford's All Is Lost.  Spoilers ahead, so watch the movie on Amazon online, Netflix DVD or Redbox DVD and then come back.

This is a fine movie, but let's count some of the ways that this plot is unlikely to take place in Peregrinus:

  1. Containers do not hit you on the sides, taking out your electronics.  The boat hits containers, with the bow, as the boat is moving while the containers are relatively static.  If Peregrinus withstands a hit, then we'll most likely be OK.  If Peregrinus does not, then we may very well sink in seconds.  By the way, forward-looking-sonar is something we want for the boat, has existed from niche manufacturers for a few years in fidgety or expensive ways, and the guys at Navico/B&G who made most of our electronics are coming with a product in mid-2014.  So we might get one.
  2. Apparently Redford has only one radio on board.  Peregrinus has (1) one fixed VHF radio, (2) one SSB radio, (3,4) two VHF portable radios, (5) one satellite bi-directional paging system, and (6) one satellite phone.  
  3. Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, EPIRB.  There is one sealed inside Peregrinus' life raft and Peregrinus itself has a second EPIRB satellite radio beacon right by the staircase (companionway).  If Redford had an EPIRB, the movie would have been about 40 minutes long.
  4. Redford finds himself lost and commendably uses a sextant to determine his approximate location.  Peregrinus has three fixed GPS.  The main one works with US-provided GPS, plus Russian GLONASS, plus is European Galileo-ready, plus is Japanese QZSS-ready).  There are GPS in each of the two portable VHF radios.  One in a watch.  Four in the iPhones and iPads.  One in the satellite phone.  One in a camera.  In total, there are five serious GPS devices plus six in the toys.  Three are waterproof.
  5. Flooded boat: any sailor's nightmare.  Saltwater destroys everything, including electronics, batteries, generators, etc.  Peregrinus features six watertight compartments: the full-beam forward and aft lockers are fully isolated; the forward and aft cabin are isolable via "submarine doors"; the engine room is sealed-in; and if everything else is shut, then the main cabin is also isolated.  There are two very large electric pumps to evacuate any water that works its way in, one (fixed) manual emergency pump, and one portable large-volume diaphragm hand-pump.

There are countless ways to come to grief while in the water.  Hopefully we will be prepared for the most likely scenarios.  

Then again, there is always a chance we get run over by a bus before we even depart!  One needs be stoic in the face of such potential tribulations.