Dangers of Paper Charts
There was a group of 3 boats, each had 2 couples on board. They were heading south, through the ITCZ.
All three boats were loaded with the latest electronic equipment, but only the last boat also kept their position with traditional paper charts and instruments. It was during a very strange, overnight electrical storm, the unthinkable happened. The two lead boats lost communication with the trailing boat. Their expensive electronics failing them, they could not see or contact their friends in the trailing boat. It was a long, terrifying night at sea, lost, separated, unable to watch DVD movies, play Xbox games, even the Kindle was malfunctioning. Their only hope was the last boat, keeping position with traditional paper charts.
The next morning they found the boat, drifting, with torn sails and deck in disarray. As one guy boarded the boat and went below, he was met with a most gruesome and horrifying sight: The man was laying in the cabin floor, surrounded by a pool of blood! There were many, many small puncture wounds in his back, and three bloody pencils sticking out of the body. There was an eraser in his mouth, and a chart had been wrapped around his broken neck.
In the head was the woman, slouched over the head covered in blood. A pair of dividers sticking out of her neck! He heard a sound...click....click...clack...click....and as he looked into the forward v-berth, he saw a parallel ruler, standing on it's end, walking toward him all by itself, maintaining a perfect heading! Click....click.....clack.....click....
He ran from the boat screaming. Leaving it adrift, he told the other cruisers what he had found and the horrible sight he had seen. They reported it to the authorities, but to this day, the boat has never been found. Cruisers in the area report, late at night, hearing a click....click...clack...click of the parallel rulers echoing across the waves.
If you hear this sound and come across a boat adrift: Do Not Board!! You may meet the same gruesome end.
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1982 Catalina 25 #2897
Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas