Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate... - Page 6 - SailNet Community

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  #51  
Old 11-30-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

Imagine those lucky bstards who get to live in the next age of discovery.. space! No charts just endless cosmos until its explored and colonized. Our future isincredible if we manage not to blow ourselves up first.

What id give to be an interstellar pirate..
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  #52  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

I worry sometimes with threads like this we discourage people from participating in what may become a dying hobby.

Sometimes I think the virtual world has taken over for young people. I can understand that, it's quite compelling. Who needs to leave home when you can simulate everything on a computer. Who needs to talk when we can text. Who needs to actually do something, the virtual world is so close to actual experience without consequence. And most scary, who needs to go sailing we can hang out here

I plead guilty to sometimes posting comments based on too many years experience that might be discouraging to new sailors. Sure, I think you should be careful and gain experience in steps. Yea, I don't like sending the coasties out after stupid. But I'm suggesting that us old guys keep that in balance, with the need to attract young sailors to the real non - virtual world of sailing.

Nothing beats reality, and hardly anything real beats a beam reach with the wind blowing just right, the tiller talking to you, the sails trimmed just right and the spray flying off the bow.

For anyone new to sailing or thinking about it, please go do it. Listen to experience but don't be frightened off, and go out there and build some of your own.

Be reasonable, don't try and take your sunfish transatlantic with a chart plotter and no paper charts on your first sail. Even with a sextant you might have trouble keeping the sight reduction tables dry

But please, do go sailing!
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  #53  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodda View Post

Sometimes I think the virtual world has taken over for young people. I can understand that, it's quite compelling. Who needs to leave home when you can simulate everything on a computer. Who needs to talk when we can text. Who needs to actually do something, the virtual world is so close to actual experience without consequence. And most scary, who needs to go sailing we can hang out here

But please, do go sailing!
Don't be offended, but whenever I read one of these, "Who needs to actually do something, the virtual world is so close to actual experience-without consequence",... I can only assume, you just aren't spending much time with kids today.

They do have a new virtual world, but that doesn't have to stop them, or you, or even slow you down. Smart kids use their tools to their advantage.

My daughter and her roommate seen sailing here in Cuttyhunk Pond this summer, have seen a great deal of the real world via Woofing programs, studies abroad and an endless line of cheap youth hostels. Julia on port is now in South Africa for a 2 year job in the Peace Corps. My daughter is headed to NYC for a paying job in today's fascinating world of sustainable agriculture.

My daughter, son, and a great deal of their friends sail every chance they get(same as we did, if raised in sailing families). They've plunged into a rapidly changing 'real' world, with both feet, and they have new tools, and they know how to use them.

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  #54  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Take away chartplotters and 98% would never leave the dock .....
as opposed to the 90% that never leave it anyway
You are SO correct. Sailboats are a kin to 5th wheel RV's that leave the driveway or storage yard 2 - 3 times a year. I just never had that kind of scratch to let that happen. I've been accused of being a live aboard because I'm at the boat at least twice a week. (We take her out out least monthly during the off season).

However folks... it's the DREAM, the draw to adventure, the imagination that tugs at you. If you've got that in you, all it takes is pirate movie and your hooked. (Pardon the Hook pun ).

It's a shame that folks head out under trained and under experienced and that some get themselves into harms way. But so do folks who hike, climb, swim, scube dive, parachute, cycle etc.. So we be good sailors and help them when we can (like we do here everyday ).

Times (technology) are a changing for sure. Back in the 80's I sailed every inch of SF Bay without any instruments or electronics (granted the US Navy put limitations on me; couldn't go out under small craft warning or fog or beyond the SF Bay bridge). Today there a so many gizmoes, folks get into trouble because of them. The younger folks who were raised with a fake i-phone instead of a toy... well they're hooked.

Are there really that many folks who go out to blue water who don't belong there?
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  #55  
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

[QUOTE=TomMaine;1175161]Don't be offended, but whenever I read one of these, "Who needs to actually do something, the virtual world is so close to actual experience-without consequence",... I can only assume, you just aren't spending much time with kids today.


Hey Tom, not only am I not offended, but I'm cheering you on!
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  #56  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Same with a car...no one should call AAA. You shouldnt drive unless you can fix the car and any situation which mnay befall you. Boulderdash
I doubt that calling AAA is putting the person who comes to your aid at risk of DEATH very often. These guys jump from a helo into the sea in any weather to save folks and I believe it's a crime to ask them to do this for someone who really doesn't NEED saving? Because they are AFRAID? SEASICK? For a broken arm? Let's get real here.
NOT AT ALL THE SAME THING!
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  #57  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
I worry sometimes with threads like this we discourage people from participating in what may become a dying hobby....
I agree. It's ironic that so many worry that sailing is losing popularity, but then ridicule those who try to stretch themselves a little beyond their comfort zone.

It can be argued that for those not going offshore, navigating is highly overrated. Most of our waterways are well marked, and if you're a daysailor you get familiar with your local waters very quickly.

Offshore rescues are relatively rare, and the ubiquitous presence of video cameras, YouTube, cable TV shows dedicated to rescue, etc., means that every one of the rescues gets maximum exposure. The statistics show the actual numbers of rescue sorties going down over the past couple of decades.

Everyone could stand to improve their navigation skills - there's always more to learn. But I would guess that 99.999% of sailors make it to their destinations safely, so let's show a little less disgust and a little more encouragement. The future of our sport may depend on it.
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  #58  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Yeah - that's me. But this is a different kettle of aardvarks.

If the complaint is that "it's the 'evil electronics' that are taking the 'true' seamanly skillz away"...meaning that you should not cruise until you know how to use a sextant and the constellation Xerxes to get to Jamaica...I don't buy it. Chartplotters/AIS/radar/etc. rock. And it's very easy to have plenty of backups for the chartplotting/GPS. Sure, I don't mind a paper chart around as a last resort - but I'd rather just stock extra AAs.

That said, if you want to start a rally and make the sextant and Xerxes the standard for entry - I'll back you 100% as long as you require adherence to ISAF safety regs.
I really don't see anyone arguing that electronic navigation is necessarily diminishing seamanlike skills... But I will argue - and have done so previously, of course :-) - is that one of the primary consequences of GPS, etc, is that it has made it so easy for some to 'out-sail' their level of experience, and the learning of fundamental skills that have traditionally taken place closer to home, in a more familiar environment, and nearer to potential assistance...

Yet again, I will cite the example of the RULE 62 tragedy in the Caribbean 1500 rally... Seems to me, a pretty clear example of someone undertaking a passage that he never would have considered if he had to rely on his own ability to find his own way to the islands... Heading offshore with an untested crew, apparently lacking any appreciation for that most basic bluewater tactic, heaving-to... Obviously having little prior experience running inlets along a coast where one could learn about doing so in an environment using marked/dredged channels, and glean advice from others with extensive local knowledge... So, instead, he begins his 'education' in a panic, attempting to run an unmarked cut in a remote location, at night, in an astoundingly foolhardy example of reliance upon electronic charts, and positioning, and in total neglect of the most fundamental elements of seamanship...

I know others disagree, but IMHO, a classic example of a 'GPS-enabled/assisted' mishap... No way he would have been there to begin with sans GPS, and no way would he have attempted that passage through an unmarked/unlit Bahamian cut, during a rage, without it...


Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-01-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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  #59  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

Every sailor should start in a small (< 20ft) open boat and use it for at least a season.
They should learn about tides, depths, winds, etc.
Then move to bigger.
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  #60  
Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Nothing has changed in 50 years...many sailors still can't navigate...

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
I worry sometimes with threads like this we discourage people from participating in what may become a dying hobby.
If that *were* happening, wouldn't boat prices and mooring/dock fees be dropping, and boat parking easier to find? Of course, that could be the reason for the scary stories - make more room for those already afloat.

It can't hurt to learn how things can go wrong, and how someone coped when the excrement impacted the air-impeller.

"Reading won't make you an able seaman, able to cope with all that the sea, weather, and failure of gear may throw at you. But reading about seamanship is buying experience without getting wet." ~~ W. S. Kals ~~
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