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  #31  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Pretty stupidly dangerous and irresponsible nowadays.


But movies like Jackass shows people can do moronic things and thing they are good.
No way. We neeed more expeditions like this. I remember that voyage from when I was a kid. it inspired me to learn how to navigate with out tech. instruments. We had an electrical fire on board crossing to the Bahamas and lost all electronics. I was impressed on how my grandfather could DR us the rest of the trip. We bought a hand held vhf off some one in freeport, and spent the rest of the spring and into summer with nothing but a compass and a cabin light. I think it's great you newbies have these gizmos to get you out there sailing the world on your own with out the years of seamanship training it used to take. But I feel it's stupid dangerous and irresponsible to go out there completely dependent on gadgets and satalites and electirical crap with out a strong foundation in old school navigation and seamanship. My 72 year old father in law can't tie a single knot because he's alway's had some kind of strap with a clip on it. To me those plasitc electrical device things are just neat devices to have, not something to depend on.
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  #32  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

If anyone really wants to feel bad, consider that the survival of nearly the entire westernized population on Earth depends upon electricity. Most people have very little actual ability. What we call knowledge today is really based upon the application and use of technology.


Can you grow your own food- if there were no stores to buy seeds?
Can you store your food over the long term, when the seasons don't allow for fresh food?
Can you hunt? Preserve the meat?
Can you build shelter that is more than a pile of branches?
Can you navigate with dead reckoning, over land as well as water?


If the power went out and never came back on, the vast majority of the population would revert to Caveman status in a year's time. And that is only true if most aren't killed for their food in that first year.

In the not too distant past, the loss of all of these modern conveniences would be called.... Tuesday. What we would call Survival Mode today is not at all about actual survival. It is about losing our crutches, without which we realize how truly helpless we have become as humans.

It is not surprising that a man who would sail around the world with no instruments is called crazy, because most people believe the correct thing to do in any situation is to call for help. I'm not saying it isn't: what I'm saying is that people do amazing things when there is no help to be had. People who have no expectation of relying on others instead learn to depend upon themselves and they gain the skills necessary to do so.

And yes, lots more people died in the old days which is why modern crutches were invented, but that does not make them necessary. "Necessary" is based on your own skill set. When they are merely redundant, they become Nice To Have conveniences.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

To repeat: I agree with all the comments supporting the greatest possible degree of independence when navigating. As a Great Lakes sailor, I have learned (I think) all methods except... the sextant... However, the ready availability of all our new gizmos does give me pause, and lately I make a more determined effort to rely less on them. I won't throw them overboard, though!
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  #34  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Quote:
An example of them is that when he got south of Australia he suddenly turns left and sails straight up to a landfall.
Well, he obviously just waited until he could smell vegemite wafting in the north wind and hung a louie.
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  #35  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

This is a good post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
No way. We neeed more expeditions like this. I remember that voyage from when I was a kid. it inspired me to learn how to navigate with out tech. instruments. We had an electrical fire on board crossing to the Bahamas and lost all electronics. I was impressed on how my grandfather could DR us the rest of the trip. We bought a hand held vhf off some one in freeport, and spent the rest of the spring and into summer with nothing but a compass and a cabin light. I think it's great you newbies have these gizmos to get you out there sailing the world on your own with out the years of seamanship training it used to take. But I feel it's stupid dangerous and irresponsible to go out there completely dependent on gadgets and satalites and electirical crap with out a strong foundation in old school navigation and seamanship. My 72 year old father in law can't tie a single knot because he's alway's had some kind of strap with a clip on it. To me those plasitc electrical device things are just neat devices to have, not something to depend on.
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  #36  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Good to see this thread got better ! Sailing is a test for skill. A feel for the past. Some respect for all. Seems to me this voyage made the grade. He found a level and did a great job. A unique adventure. It is a shame the boat was cut up but that is life. I have enjoyed learning about this. It lets us dream. I am not going to bash tech stuff. It is great it makes life easy. It is just fun to do it the hard way just to see what it takes from time to time. Regards, Lou
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  #37  
Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

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Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
Well, he obviously just waited until he could smell vegemite wafting in the north wind and hung a louie.
You'll get no vegemite smell from the Nullabor Desert - only sheer cliffs, a lee shore and no hope of rescue. As many ship captains discovered at their peril during the late 18th and 19th centuries, if you have any choice at all, the south cost of Australia isn't really something you want to make landfall on - so if that was really his course, he'd have needed to pick a really nice day!

Having said that, of all the approaches to make, the one shown on the map isn't the quickest way to go, but is probably the most sensible without instruments (basically coastal-cruising around Tasmania and north to Sydney) - but - if, after leaving the Bight, he'd been blown too far south and missed sighting Tasmania altogether, we'd not be reading about his voyage - ever. The old ship captains often referred to missing Tasmania as "sailing off the edge of the world".

IMHO if he'd claimed he dropped in to Melbourne on his way to Sydney, without using instruments, THEN you could be fairly sure the entire voyage was a fable. As it stands, I think you'll find his route was very carefully selected....
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Last edited by Classic30; 02-27-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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  #38  
Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

You do realize this was done in 1984, near 30 years ago. Reading what I have I must say there was a lot of luck involved, but with the back up of instruments locked in a box just in case.
I must admit that on my Pacific crossing there were some times I would only check my position once or twice a day, but only when well away from land. I did use the compass a lot more than I would have thought, this I found out when the compass light failed.
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  #39  
Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

I sailed with a third mate many years ago that was working on the President lines, way before electronic navigation.
Any way, during the winter they sailed the trunticated GC route from San Franciso to Tokyo JPN. A few of those trips they had overcast skys for the entire trip and had to DR using the previous Navigation logs for time, speed & course to steer the entire trip... never getting a celestrial position for those trips.
So learn DR Navigation. And pratice it always when underway. It will help you find the port you are shooting for without all of those modern gagets.
You only need to know: Time, Speed and Course to find your way.
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Last edited by Boasun; 02-28-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Boasun.... Yes, you are correct. However, things are a little more complicated and uncertain when you add drift (current) and leeway (especially when traveling under sail). After a few miles, depending on conditions, your actual course vs. DR course may start to diverge noticeably. I'll omit small "discrepancies" in steering the course... Your point that you may well be without celestial observations for a prolonged time is certainly valid and thus one should always be prepared for "the worst" and keep a DR log up at all times, regardless of other gadgets available.
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