Abandoning ship is the last resort, but one must be prepared. I count my life jackets and note their condition and location — don't bury them under a berth. With the exception of the required throwable device, I carry only Type 1 PFDs because I believe that anything less at sea is worthless. I review the expiration dates on my pyrotechnics and pass on cheap handhelds in favor of a stout 0.25 mm flare gun. I check my emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) registration and battery dates, and my life raft repack date. My bailout bag is handy to the helm and accommodates a first aid kit, fresh water, a handheld VHF and GPS and my portable satellite phone. Anhinga's life raft is mounted on the bridge rail near the helm since I believe that, in the case of sinking, the bridge would be my last stand. Since I don't much trust flimsy inflatables, I always tow our trusted 13-foot Whaler to the Bahamas.