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post #61 of Old 12-21-2012
Brent Swain
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Over reliance on electronics

While crossing the Pacific, I have always kept an eye on other indicators of my whereabouts, like the height of Polaris and other constellations , birds , wave patterns etc.
Once, leaving Ensenada for Todos Santos , the fog rolled in and blacked everything out. I had cleared out, so I headed out. That was back in the days of satnav, before GPS. When I got there, a few of the Newport to Ensenada race boats were anchored there, and one invited me aboard. They asked if I had got any satellite fixes and I said "No." They asked how I found the place in the fog. I simply told them that,as it was late afternoon, all the birds were flying home. Those headed to my right were heading for the mainland, those heading to my left were heading for the point on the south end of the bay.Those flying up the middle couldn't be heading for anywhere else but Todos Santos, so I followed them in.
No problem.

Oh, you've done this before" was their reply.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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