Sounds like you're having a great time. Good thing you put in those float bags but I wonder why those straps came off. You should be able to get 'em to stay on.
Get wet and stay warm.
The student and I were hanging on each others boats during recovery practice. It doesn't take much to open them as they have a funky cam system which has changed on the boats after my 08. Two were off on one hatch the front. I had no water enter but in real rough conditions I don't trust the cam lock straps especially if climbing on the boat deck.
Feel better with the bags in there now anyway. The instructor has them in her boat too.
I had a knife on a lanyard tie to my jacket but she said it was a bad idea as it could catch trying to re-enter the boat on deck lines. She said she had one but it was enclosed in her jacket. She had a small box on the front of her jacket where it may have been.
Any ideas anyone on knife storage?