Are we too techno-evolved? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 04-21-2010 Thread Starter
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Are we too techno-evolved?

It is kind of scary thinking of boating without a chart plotter or even a GPS, but are we too techno-evolved for our own good? I admittedly could not navigate a long distance right now without a GPS, but I’m getting better at it and hope to be able to use a sextant before long. But wouldn’t some people consider the sextant a technological evolutionary instrument too? Sure we have all this fancy equipment, and I do, but at what cost? How many hours did we have to work for all this? How many people suffered to make what we needed? How many pollutants and chemicals did we put into some river to get us what we desired? Shouldn’t a sailing and cruising life be simpler?

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post #2 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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I have done a Transatlantic without GPS and using a plastic sextant but nowadays I love my Garmin 72.

I manage fine without a plotter and radar preferring to keep a running plot going on paper anytime I can not eyeball the next feature and maintain a good lookout. I suppose if I was in some foggy clime I might grow to love radar but in the Caribbean it is redundant.
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post #3 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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I agree Remetau. I think that the extent of GPS should be to give you some coordinates to plot on a paper chart.

What's really interesting, though, is that a GPS is cheaper than a sextant!
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post #4 of 32 Old 04-21-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tager View Post
I agree Remetau. I think that the extent of GPS should be to give you some coordinates to plot on a paper chart.

What's really interesting, though, is that a GPS is cheaper than a sextant!
I know! For a good sextant, how crazy is that?

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post #5 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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Do yourself a favor. Occassionally turn your electronics off, or cover the screens, and learn to make do with a hand bearing compass, your main compass and your charts. The experience will come in handy sooner or later.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #6 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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Nah... embrace the technology. It’s not taking anything away, in fact it makes us what we are. Be enthralled by the design and sophistication of your hi-tech hull, the aerodynamics of the sail, the purr of the engine, whatever. Being at sea wasn’t always fun. In fact until quite recently it was a terrifying plunge into the unknown. I am sure you can’t tame the oceans but with contemporary technologies, some knowledge and a modicum of caution you can play in what used to be the domain of only the hardiest explorers. And it is fun...


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post #7 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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Hmmm, I just convinced a boating friend to get an iPod and rip all her CDs to mp3 files. Does tech also work the other way - is a flashdrive worth of jpg photos gentler on the environment than developing film and storing the prints in a set of albums on a shelf? And more to the point, if I can go sailing and take all my music and all my cookbooks and all my photos in my pocket, then its a lot more fun as Broom mentioned.

I found a decent Davis sextant in the dumpster a couple of years ago. It had obviously been used, with handwritten notes on the navigational stars taped to the outside of the box. I navigate, however, with 2 GPSs, paper charts, and binoculars with compass.
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post #8 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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I agree with both sides here.

Part of what makes us human is our ability to create and use tools. However there is always the concern of relying to much on certain tools and that can lead to disaster.

My belief, like the answer to pretty much every other dilemma in this world, is always in moderation. Meaning, use as much tools/tech as you want as long as you balance that with knowledge of a more basic sort, and never forget where you came from and how you got there.

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post #9 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remetau View Post
Shouldn’t a sailing and cruising life be simpler?
No.

Have faith that the oceans are going to rise and flood the world, that plague and pestilence brought on by Climate Change is going to punish us for not believing. Please do as they say it is our only hope. :P
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-21-2010
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Use the technology you find suitable to you and your way of life...leave all the rest behind. Some will want high-tech communications to keep in touch with loved ones, others will want high-tech entertainment, and others still the creature comforts of a modern life....some will want none of these things and sail on a smaller, simpler boat...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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