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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Man Over Board!!! (well ok, this is only a test)

In a previous blog post, we wrote about our new man overboard buoy.  Melissa has been corresponding with the president of the US distributor for the device, and he offered a free rearm kit if we wanted to test it and make a video.  Of course, he knew he had a sucker on the hook, because Melissa loves this sort of thing.

We decided to run the test during Mark's birthday party back in San Francisco on September 14th.  Mark owns the house where we docked in San Francisco.  He and his wife Katie have a big extended family that we figured would make for a fun crowd to watch the test.  Dave had reluctantly agreed to jump in and play man overboard for the video.  (He can't say no to Melissa!)  Alas, when it was time to do the test, Dave discovered that the wetsuit we had put aboard in Seattle didn't fit him.  Because it was Melissa's wetsuit.  Somehow in the shuffle of packing, we thought we were missing Melissa's wetsuit.  When in fact, Dave's is the one not aboard.  A problem if we wrap a rope around the prop before we reach warm waters as Melissa isn't sure she is up to jumping in the cold water with a knife in her teeth, even if she is wearing a wet suit.

Fortunately, Katie's brother Jake is a marine.  And you know, those marines are always prepared for anything, and just love to save the day.  Jake had a newly purchased, but never before worn dry suit in his car.  The video below was shot at the party.  Katie's Dad helped Melissa out with the filming.

One interesting thing to note was that the device takes 7 seconds to pop to the surface.  While we knew this, it was just long enough that people started commenting that maybe it had failed to inflate and sunk.  Important to remember as that 7 seconds is probably going to seem even longer if someone is in the water for real.

After the party, Melissa went to re-arm the device.  This turned out to be a relatively simple process, once you "get" how the device works which took some puzzling.  After Melissa and Alex had puzzled about it for some time, Dave came over, took one look, and said "here's how you do it".  Yep.  MacGyver is at it again.  Alas, either the bobbin (the part of the device that dissolves in water allowing the device to fire automatically) was defective, or there was some moisture inside the unit.  Because when Melissa screwed in the new CO2 canister, BLAM!  The device inflated in her hand, while she was sitting inside the cabin.  Not dangerous, just funny.  Good thing Melissa had ordered another spare rearm kit, huh?  Program Manager paranoia wins yet again.


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