Once more, the chart plotter mentioned in accidents above was not to blame, the Captain was driving his boat without paying attention to things around him. I have to say some people just are never going to get it, the electronics should not be sailing your vessel, you as the Captain must sail the vessel. The same accidents can happen when a Captain is looking through his bifocals at his charts. In Spanish we have a saying, a word really, envergado I won't translate it to closely but it means you screwed yourself...sort of... by getting stuck on it.
If you get stuck on a chart, a cup of tea, or a chart plotter you are distracted. If you are sailing rapidly in the dark into a mooring area or dock, as would have to have been the case in the above mentioned boating accident, you were in the wrong before you even got started looking at the plotter. If you get envergado you did it to yourself.
You're right, of course, I have no disagreement with much of what you say...
However, it's just that the modern gizmos make it so EASY
to develop bad habits as a navigator, and the reliance upon them exclusively can so easily breed laziness, and imprudence... Again, no need to ask me how I know this... (grin)
A few years ago, Beth Leonard (yeah, I know, what would SHE know about this, right?) wrote:
...we have recently seen more "electronic chart assisted groundings" than any other type of accident.
The charts look so real we start thinking they are reality and don't check them against any other navigational aid.
In the end, the GPS and chart plotters are just another aid to navigation, not the aid. The old warning about never relying on one aid to navigation is as true for GPS as for any other position-fixing device. We have to constantly remind ourselves to corroborate its readings with the radar, depth sounder, bearings on landmarks, or just eyeballing and identifying each passing island so we know where we are. These good habits die quickly when the GPS comes aboard, but preserving and encouraging them may well save your boat someday.
A Teachable Moment Beth Leonard