COB Alarm

Some of you may be familiar with the term MOB (men over board) Many of today’s equipment has a button with the acronym MOB just for the purpose of recording the location of a person should he/she were to fall overboard. On Wednesday we had a need for COB button or alarm. COB (and my father wants full rights to this term) stands for clothes over board. Yup, you heard me right, CLOTHES, as in a bag full of them that were in the process of being washed.

Taking advantage of the very light seas on Wednesday, my father tied one of those mesh bags used for separating clothes in the washer to put a bunch of clothes in them, soap them up and then rinse them in salt water. Except somewhere in the process the little rope used to tie the bag together broke from the stronger rope we had on the sailboat as my father watch somewhat incredulously as to what was happening to him. Those were some of his clothes that had kept him warm during the rough seas and cold of the storm, except now they were floating, kind of, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Since we didn’t have a COB button we used the closest thing we had the MOB button which recorded the location of when the button was pressed. That is a little piece of reality here. MOB doesn’t track the location of anything on the water. They only way to do that is to have a transmitter on whatever felt overboard. It tracks the location the sailboat was when the button was pressed and that is normally a sufficient enough approximation for someone with a bright red live jacket or live saver doing their darnest to make sure you see them. Clothes somehow don’t do that and as we later found out impossible to find once they are “sort of” floating and not quite visible on the surface.

But my father’s face of astonishment was only second to José Manuel’s surprise face when he accidentally pulled the self inflating lever on his life-jacket-harness. Just like that he had been transformed into one of those birds you see in National Geographic or Animal Planet with their necks all filled up during their mating routine. Somehow, to my bewilderment, I don’t have a photo of this event. I guess in between the laughing my head off and peeing my pants I forgot to capture the moment for prosperity. He shall not be so lucky next time 😉


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