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post #69 of Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Need Opinion: Chart plotter, north up or course up?

Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Well, for the record, I will note that I only possess one of those 4 toys you mention, not sure how that has any relevance to the points I've been trying to make... And, for the umpteenth time, may I remind you that I, too, rely on GPS as my primary navigational tool, just like most everyone else... (grin)

So, what happens when one of those Dirt Dwellers with minimal map-reading skills buys a Plastic Fantastic 40 for his first boat? Ah, right - as Roger points out, he learns to use a chartplotter... Which is most often a far cry from actually learning how to navigate...

In the weeks after Hurricane Sandy, one of my neighbors had his FEMA inspection postponed, due to the fact that the inspector's smart phone died, and he had no means of finding his way to our neighborhood... I had to drive to a shopping mall to meet with my inspector, because her GPS was inexplicably routing her to my address over a bridge that had been closed, and there was no other way she could be 'talked into' my house... Which, from the parking lot she was in, would have involved making ONE left turn at the 3rd traffic light she would have encountered... Though she had a map of the area, she candidly admitted it was of no use to her...

Yeah, ain't Map-Reading Obsolescence wonderful?

Sometimes, I wonder if I'm the only person around here who's ever had one of those Magic Black Boxes aboard a boat go dark... (grin)

Again, to the aftermath of Sandy... We were without power here for 20 days... For the first time, it truly hit me how dependent many people have become upon their smart phones and such... Whenever I'd make a stop at McDonald's to poach some WiFi, here would be lines around the power outlets, people waiting to re-charge their devices, probably so they could figure out how to get to where they're going next... (grin)

So, disregard the mention in the article I cited, of the pleas from authorities in Scotland for hikers to familiarize themselves with other means of finding their way back home, as a result of so many needless rescues they're having to make... My nephew is a Ski Patroller out at Mammoth Mountain, and rarely does a single week go by without them being called to find some clown who ventured Out of Bounds somewhere on the mountain, because his smart phone went dead, and he lacked the ability to interpret something as simple as a freakin' trail map... Or, the countless other examples offered up every day, and certainly over the VHF any weekend out on the water...

Sorry, but they are the sort of people, lacking those sort of antiquated, "obsolete" skills, who might find themselves "left behind" when TSHTF, but "time marches on"... (grin)
Ah yes a good "Chicken Little" demo...the sky is falling...the sky is falling and we all need to go back to our roots, get out the maps, get out the firestarters Why.... lets take it to the nth degree. Lets go back before the was the ruinatuion of all of us and it caused cars which caused global warming. ( grin) how far should be go the dinosaurs....the flageliites,,,,,the spark that caused it all....the big bang.

So what if people cant find places without a GPS or a smart phone. Are the satellites still there? Most people cant grow food either, certainly a more fundemental skill than reading a map. Should we all have gardening/ growing experience just in case Armageheddon comes?

We all agree we are dependent on electricity and all the devices run by them, Sandy reminded us of that and not just the cell phone part. It was the lack of electricity.

Its great to take a few examples and look at them from the critical half empty scenario and extrapolate the next issue of the "sky is falling" thread. I prefer to focus on the positive. What a great advance electrontics has been.

Easier to rescue people because of it GPS fixes on EPIRBS, VHF radios we carry etc. AIS to let you know where the big ships are, radar to see in the fog. Satellites to map the land and ocean within 6 inches. Doppler radar to predict and give tornado warnings. Satellites to track hurricanes to warn mariniers. Pactor modems to get weather systems while at sea. SSB to have communicatuion over the horizon. Why are you just fixated on chartplotters. All these advances have made it possible for more safety and yes as you say for more people to feel confindent and possibly overconfident and get in trouble. Every action in nature has an equal and opposite reaction ( Newton) associated with it.

And oh by the way those maps you use, or the mountain rescuer....I bet they were not made and verified by Lewis and Clark, but by some GEOSat satellite 233 miles in space.

While I agree and utilize paper charts as you do, I do not demonize the use of electronics and aids utilizing electronics as a use only by the inexperienced Darth Vadars of the world. I refuse to point to a few isolated publicised incidents, sensationalize and then extrapolate them to mean the "sky is faling", especially when the hard facts show otherwise.

Time does march on....thats a true fact, like death. Technology does with it.

You can pick and chose which electronics to use (I notice you use the demon computer to post) and let the technology help you become a better safer sailor, or you can get left behind. ( grin). Not referring to you use GPS of course ( grin).

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