"Your resolutions are good ones. However, there IS a safe way to swim from a boat that's becalmed.
- Be sure all sails are well furled and tied with gaskets, roller sails tightly rolled and secure against accidental un-rolling.
- Be sure the ladder is well secured with a safety line
- Most important. Be sure there's one vigilant person on deck whenever others are in the water. I have read two novels about loss of life whilst swimming in mid-ocean, but in both books the entire crew (in one case, a husband and wife)were in the water at the same time, leaving no one aboard!!
It's the last point that is almost what worries me. Unfortunately, this is like telling a kid, "there is absolutely no way Dracula is hiding in your closet". You can't prove this negative, Dracula isn't there when YOU look.
See, I don't worry about the boat sailing away and I don't worry about sharks. I worry about what COULD be down there. The unimaginable, the Sea Serpents, Neptune, the miscellaneous scary creatures, the Giant Squids. There is a very real chance that one of them is somewhere in the 20,000 feet of water underneath me. Just because nobody has ever seen any of these before doesn't prove that now, while I'm in the water, won't be the first time.
I've been in the water in the middle of the ocean before. My Dad was the "vigilant person on deck" and my girlfriend and I jumped in the water for a swim. It was cold but that wasn't the problem. At the moment I hit the water, I could envision every cubic milliliter of water underneath me and all the scary things that could be in there. And there were lots of these scary things. And for proof that the impossible can happen, I literally flew back onto the boat without touching the boarding ladder at all. I flew. Like one of the Sea Creatures probably could.
The only reason I know I'm not crazy that something was down there was that Susannah knew it too. She actually beat me back on deck.