Originally Posted by djodenda
So.. did you notice that when he opened the sextant, there was a card inside? And he didn't read it? How come? My speculation is that the sextant was a gift from family, as described above, and that he didn't want to be reminded that he had messed up and not even learned how to use such a valuable gift.. He was ashamed.
Interestingly to me, is that when my father left on his circumnavigation in the late 1980s, he didn't want to bother with a sextant. So we bought him one. He never learned to use it.
I think that's one of those moments where the writer wants you do fill in your own explanation. Perhaps the gift was from somebody he didn't really like or had a strained relationship with. Maybe he was just one of those people who placed little value on relationships throughout his life until he was at death's door, which wasn't quite yet at this point in the movie.
In a typical movie, you would have been shown who the card was from and the contents. This was not a typical movie.