I guess I must be gettin' old. For me, at least, there's no thrill to DR my way to any destination. I have 3 GPS
's, all work perfectly, and the accuracy is uncanny. Sure, I can use charts
, and most of the time find my way to anyplace I want to cruise to. But, when the first consumer version of Loran-C became available I quickly ditched the RDF I had been using and never looked back. When GPS
plotters became available, the same scenario was repeated. I purchased the GPS
, ditched the Loran-C and never looked back.
Now, despite the fact that I'm old, it doesn't mean my mind has gone to Hell. I find it much more interesting to sail using the latest technology, thereby providing me more time to enjoy the scenery, watch American eagles soaring over Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and keeping a sharp vigil for barge traffic in the bay. I would rather be sailing at night, knowing exactly where I'm at at all times, and having that 3G Radar
image superimposed over the GPS Plotter display.
Sitting down with a pile of charts, plotting courses, etc... is the last thing I want to do while sailing--even in the open ocean. Yep, the charts are on the boat, sitting in waterproof cases where they're dry and safely stored. So, if I lost all 3 GPS plotters, and all 5 batteries suddenly went dead, I'm confident I could find my way home--especially in the confines of Chesapeake Bay. I'm equally confident that if the same failures took place 200 miles off the coast of the lower Delmarva Peninsula, finding a particular inlet, especially while cruising on a sailboat in marginal weather, would be a WAG (wild-assed-guess) at best. Having covered that shoreline from end to end for many, many years I can assure you that it all looks the same--no markers to determine your position within 30 miles in any direction.
Guess I am getting old!