What to Bring
The Coast Guard requires that all rowers take an approved PFD, a bailer, a heaving line and a sounding device (a.k.a. a whistle). Locarno policy requires that you actually wear your PFD when on the water.
Many rowers resist wearing a PFD, as they tend to be too warm in many conditions, can restrict movement and can sometimes interfere with the hands. In order to help rowing members to comply with Locarno policy, the the fleet has pouch-style inflatable PFD’s that are ideal for rowing. They sit on the small of the back, are attached with a waist belt and are basically undetectable by the wearer. In the event that you and your craft are separated while at sea, these PFD’s have the significant advantage of remaining with the rower rather than the boat. To put them into service, the rower slides the pouch around to the front and pulls the tab to inflate, then pulls it over the head. In a non-emergency situation, it can be manually inflated as well.
Comfort comes at a cost, however; each time they are to be taken out, the vests must be folded and packed into the pouch, and each time they are returned they must be unpacked, rinsed in fresh water and hung to dry. If you have had opportunity to pull the cord, you will find that the CO2 cartridges are single use; each member is responsible for replacing the cartridges that they use.
There is a supply of bailers in the rowing shack, and you are encouraged to add to the collection any containers of the right shape and size.
Any who is not confident on the water or uncomfortable with the use of the pouch-style PFD should try one of the 'suspender-style' units. They are worn on the front and require a pull on the cord to deploy them. They have a bit more weight and bulk than the pouch style PFD's, and may interfere with the end of your stroke.
Most members acquire a loud whistle and attach it to the lanyard that holds their membership card and key (as the latter two items should be with you at all times when you at Sailing Centre).
Other items to consider:
- a batten to hold open the bailer
- cell phone or VHF transceiver
- smoke or rocket flare
- signalling mirror
- water bottle
- energy bars or other snack food
- hat and extra clothing
- sunglasses and sunscreen
- short length of sturdy cord (to lash oars together or to make an emergency oarlock)
- A small waterproof kayak bag