Editor’s note: In our last issue (Ocean Navigator Sept./Oct. 2019, no. 257), we ran a story in our Safety section that took a look at some of the options available for harnesses and tethers. To illustrate the piece we used a photo from the excellent offshore sailing website, Attainable Adventure Cruising (www.morganscloud.com), which carries the subtitle “The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site,” edited and published by Phyllis Nickel and John Harries.
The site is a superb compendium of knowledge on every topic of interest to the offshore sailor. And true to form, Attainable Adventure Cruising had a marvelous picture of John Harries on their boat Morgan’s Cloud wearing a harness and tether that we thought was a great visual accompaniment to the harness and tether article. Unfortunately, we failed to obtain clearance from John and Phyllis to use the photo and we apologize for that oversight.
More than that, however, the caption we ran with the photo had a larger error that wrongly implied John and Phyllis endorsed the article, which they did not. In fact, based on well over 100,000 miles of shorthanded offshore sailing, John specifically disagrees with many of the recommendations in our article.
In addition, it failed to recognize that John and Phyllis have put a great deal of thought into tethers and jacklines and have developed their own system that:
- Largely eliminates the danger of being dragged through the water should you fall over the lifelines while attached to a jackline.
- Assures that crewmembers are securely attached to the boat at all times, while eliminating the weight and tripping potential of carrying two tethers along with you (and the uncomfortable and unsafe expedient of wrapping one tether around your neck as a way to keep it from dragging along the deck).
- Enables the crew to move around the deck efficiently and quickly.
John and Phyllis, with the help of their many experienced readers, have put considerable time and effort into developing their innovative system and then writing about and illustrating it with photos and videos in their online book, Person Overboard Prevention and Recovery. It deserves every sailor’s consideration.
Membership cost of the AAC website, which includes the above online book and 20 others, is more than reasonable given the tremendous amount of information available in the articles and the comments (which John regularly responds to with additional thoughts and info).
See for yourself at www.morganscloud.com.