Re: Vanishing Seamanship
Been at this boating stuff on and off since the late 50's and still learning new things. I have owned three sail boats during the last 25 years. Done numerous 12 to 20 day passages and countless overnighters, racing and cruising. I also teach navigation. Some observations:
About 20 years ago I was returning from Catalina Island in dense fog in my 27 foot race boat in cruiser mode, stripped out, paper charts doing DRs, with confirmation using small LORAN unit. Big 50-some foot sport fisher comes out of the fog doing about 15 knots, then slows down and comes along side. The skipper asked what the heading was to Avalon. Excuse me, the vessel had about tens of thousands of dollars of electronic equipment aboard, go figure.
I had a slip that was in between two broker slips who sold 40-43 foot trawlers, a million plus dollars new. I met several new owners over the period of a couple of years. All were new to boating; these trawlers were their first boat!
Captain's licenses. I have met many individuals who has this license and do not know the first thing about navigation, etc. Some spent numerous hours as deck hands or less on commercial boats or what ever, but never in the position to handle the vessel, anchor, use radio communication, or navigate. But because they had the necessary sea hours or days, they qualified to take the license classes and exam. Just because you can pass an examination test does not reflect on your actual on the water skills.