Me too, for the last 4/5 years. The older I get, the more unstable I get so I thought ‘better safe than sorry’ and I am now well into the habit of donning said life jacket. I have been boating for 37 years now and know how easy it would be to get caught out. Remember Charlie’s (Bound 2 Please) tale from a couple of years back?
A great write-up grounded, I have enjoyed your adventures greatly. Whatever you are up to next, I hope it all goes well and I wish you a safe and enjoyable journey back to New Zealand.