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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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  #31  
Old 01-15-2008
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The crew are hooks... if they were loops, the seat backs would hooks, and that's rough on the boat bunnies in their bikinis when we're at anchor.
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Originally Posted by AboardIndigo View Post
LOL - Are the crew hooks or loops?

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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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  #32  
Old 01-15-2008
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BTW, Erps... when was the last time you had an aircraft helping you look for an MOB on a daysail??? and how do you afford to have a SAR plane following your boat around all the time???
I've never had a MOB on my boat. I have particpated in several SAR's. I've personally pulled five people out of the water in three events just off the top of my head. I've had a helicopter arrive on scene on two occasions and quickly locate one of the victims at night in an area I had been searching for probably 20 minutes. I'm on the water a lot, in all weather conditions and I've seen it all floating in the water, refrigerators, plastic bags, barrels and upside down boats. A debris field of a hundred styrofoam plates would be very easy to locate either from the air or a boat in my experience. I'm still not advocating that this be the first thing thrown overboard. I really, really object to your characterization of it being a totally ridiculous idea though. Heck, if I'm in the water and my wife dumped a gallon of diesel in the water to make a quarter mile sheen, I'd be tickled to death if it helped her mark where I went in. We'll worry about any associated fines later.
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  #33  
Old 01-15-2008
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The Dog is taking a good general practise to extremes. His entire analogy falls apart when one considers the possiblity of the boat not recovering the MOB. It's hard enough to find a lifeboat in the open sea, let alone a single individual. Anything that makes the last known location of the MOB easier to ascertain is desirable.

It's also a bit ridiculous to be against throwing over styrofoam plates when you're advocating throwing over float cushions and all other manner of devices, most containing plastic as well, that you will never be able to retrieve even if so inclined.

I was unable to watch the video as my sound is currently out on my PC but I would like to address the pollution issue. The idea that plastic does not break down is simply ridiculous. Anyone who's covered their boat with a plastic tarp knows what UV light does to it; it breaks it down. In fact, the combination of water, wind, and sun breaks down everything thrown into the ocean eventually, assuming it has not sunk. I'm not in favor of polluting but it's no aid to the cause of a clean environment to be falsely stating the science.

Most of the water pollution we're concerned about is shore-side generated and is seen in restricted waters. The open sea does not allow for the long continued existence of debri; it breaks it down into ever smaller pieces. Areas such as the Med. have such pollution problems due to the lack of circulation. The med and most coastal areas where pollution is prevalent are, in essence, closed eco-systems. The open ocean is not.

Furthermore, it helps if one can define pollution. Generally speaking it is considered anything that is either visible or harmfull. A styrofoam plate may be considered harmfull and a pollutant yet a million one-micron styrofoam particles are not. Your hull paint is a pollutant in close proximity to the hull. Yet we consider it safe for the environment given the quantities of biocides and the vastness of the water about it. In a gallon of seawater you can find the components of crude oil. Not crude oil spilled by the Amoco Corporation but crude oil that naturally leaches into the ocean. and you can find those components in the clearest, most crystal clean seawater around, and half a world away from where the oil entered the ocean. So pollution, in the end, is defined by quantity. What quantity is visible and what quantity is harmfull. Our very drinking water is not defined as being pure water, it is defined by the quantity of minerals and other pollutants within it. Our very standards are set by the amounts we know to be, or suspect to be, harmfull. It's always interesting when science comes up with a new methodology for testing that allows for a far greater magnitude of precision. Initially we are alarmed that the water we are drinking now shows a part per billion of something harmfull that we were not concerned about when it did not show up on the ppm test, until we realize that it is the epidemiology that counts and not the measuring accuracy. Half a century of no ill effects counts much more than the fact that we can now measure more accurately what's actually there.

So the definition of pollution can be seen to also be the solution to pollution. And the solution to pollution is dilution. I'll offer a large reward to anyone who can show otherwise. And the silly emotion that started this thread is just that; silly. The idea that by throwing styrofoam plates over the side one is conducting even a minor ecological event is preposterous and is symptomatic of the self-absorption that men choose when they think they're somehow superior to nature. The sea will dispose of you and your plastic boat almost as quickly and efficiently as she will those styrofoam plates.
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  #34  
Old 01-15-2008
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Sailaway-

Before you comment again, you really might want to watch the video I posted a link to.

Plastics don't break down under UV as well or as quickly as most people think. Small particles of plastic are often mistaken for edible food, and since the plastics aren't digestible, often this leads to the death of the animal. Ingested plastics can kill fish, birds, and even larger animals.

In the video, you can see an albatross that died from ingested plastics.

The idea that the open ocean doesn't have a problem is also false... the video features the North Central Pacific gyre, which is an area that concentrates debris and trash. There is also a South Central Pacific gyre. So, even the Pacific, for all its size, isn't immune from pollution.

Some of the plasticizers act as artificial hormones, and can cause tumors, mutations and changes in the endocrine systems in living organisms.

Unfortunately, your assumptions on the damage plastics can do the natural environment are not based in science, since man doesn't yet know the full effects of many of the chemicals that he has created and made. Many of the chemicals we thought were safe have had unintended consequences, that we were not aware of until much later. DDT, PCBs, dioxins, are all examples of these types of chemicals.

At some point, we may reach a critical threshold and see unexpected and vast environmental changes that will be detrimental to the planet. Unfortunately, mankind doesn't even know if he is on the path to causing such changes or not.
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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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  #35  
Old 01-15-2008
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going aground

Going to the San Diego customs you have a tendancy of missing the channle that leads into the customs dock. When you miss it you go past up the main channel and then you see the costoms building and have to turn around and go back on the north side of the channel . It is usualy night time and you are returning from the Newport to Insanada race. Well you cannot or just don't see the shallow sighns and SQuish you go right in the mud. You can't beat local Knowledge. Well you think that moby dick should be your sailing partner and say a few bad words . You send a guy out on the end of the boom and hope you don't dunk him like a tea bag and then you heal the boat over and try and back off. Some times your are in luck, some time you are not. Well we were lucky on both counts, We didn't teabag the crew member and we backed off. The emotional damage was done, I thought I was the worst navigator of all time.
Well I did the race about 5 years later on another boat and told the skipper about my experience in the San Diego customs mud. Well I went of watch about 03:00 and was woken up at about 05:00. Well our great navigator, great captain, helm hog, found the San Diego customs mud. We were not lucky on both counts. Since I was the heavest crew member I got to go out on the boom. Well lets just say I was a little two heavy or the keel was to small, I forgot I made the keel, Well we had to wait for
the tide and a good power boat, you know the boat the smells and doesn't have that stupid thing sticking down in the mud most of the time.
There is nothing like local knowledge as long as it is on watch.
Don Huseman
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  #36  
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It's funny you'd mention DDT which was banned based upon science since shown to be incorrect. Even PBS's and Dioxins are under re-investigation with many scientists saying, we don't know.

Your concern about ingestation may have a degree of validity to it but does nothing to address the simple reality that animals ingest many naturally occuring substances that proceed to kill them or otherwise cause the effects you cite. Hell, dogs die from choking on chicken bones, try to get them to quit eating chickens.

The gyre's you cite are hardly unusual as nature manages to "pollute" herself all of the time. Millions of tons of mud flowing down a Malibu cliff into the Pacific is a natural polluting of the Pacific ocean. Try to stop it.

Your last paragraph is mere sophistry, sufficent to outlaw whatever the current bug-a-boo of the moment might be. Running off half-cocked and banning DDT on incomplete science has done nothing for the environment and results in the deaths of millions of people annually from malaria. The entire premise of this thread and your points above are of a similar nature of foolishness. No one is in favor of pollution per se, but the idea that man is in charge of the world's ecological condition as a prime mover is delusional and arrogant. You are right about man's lack of knowledge. It's just that some men are unwilling to admit that they really don't know for sure and are willing to call their guesses and emotions immutable fact.

"detrimental to the planet" I could not let that one pass. How the hell does anyone know what is detrimental to the planet? California could have an earthquake and fall into the ocean tomorrow, would that be detrimental to the planet? Was the ice age detrimental to the planet? What is the planet supposed to look like? We know what it looks like now and we have an idea of what it looked like a few hundred years ago, and we even have some ideas on what it might look like a hundred years hence. But we have no idea on what it is SUPPOSED to look like. If the planet is struck by an asteroid the size of Delaware it's going to look a lot different the following morning, the following year, the following decade, etc... Does that make the asteroid strike "unnatural"? You might re-read the last two sentences of my post above.

And once we stop throwing styrofoam plates overboard to spot our MOB we can move on to banning windshields. Just think of all those bugs dieing an unnatural death, probably deaths detrimental to the planet. Horsefeathers!
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  #37  
Old 01-15-2008
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I did not read the MOB thread. Is it close by?

I have never thought of using a "debris field" but it makes perfect sense.

I think I would like to try tossing 50 or so out one day just to see what they look like. I think they would be easy to see as they would pepper the wave faces.

I think 50 to 100 would be great alternating white, day-glow orange and then green.

I think they would float a lot like a swimmer. Not nearly like a surf board, kayak or RIB! We should try it and see.

Someone said something like "so what it is a human life we are talking about saving". HAH!

The human lives (so damn many of them) are worth less and less each day.

Yes I know if it is me then it means more.......spare me that retort.

If every one on the planet dumped 10 plates in the water and then killed themselves there would be far fewer fish, birds, and animals of all kinds dying almost immediately.

Humans are so smart and yet so stupid........and so full of themselves too!!

I do not throw stuff over. In fact I am one that collects on each and every outing............BUT.........I really don't think it makes a great deal of difference. There is just too much stuff thrown, lost, whatever in the waters for me to clean it up. Just look at what is human nature. Defile an area using up the resources and then move on. Harder now that there are too many of us around these days.

That is what I think.

I think it should be tried. I might just do it...........in the name of science!!

Who wants to be the MOB in the debris field and who wants to be the MOB in the control area of ocean?
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  #38  
Old 01-16-2008
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I wonder if more birds ingest styrofoam at the local dump than do at sea.
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  #39  
Old 01-17-2008
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One ship sinks and puts more plastics, chemicals, pollutants into the water than the entire cruising community does in a year (I generalise).

And IIRC, LLoyds of London record at least one sinking somewhere in the world every day (or something like that).

I agree with sway. Whilst very few sailors (including me) deliberately pollute the sea we sail on, if one of my family goes overboard I'll put a trimaran through a proverbial shredder and spread the entire result on the sea if it means my loved one gets back on board.

Andre
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  #40  
Old 01-17-2008
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That thread was about MOB and plates, this thread is about plastics in the sea - I thought.

S'way - Did you get to listen to the video that Dog posted?

I found the telling point was that when they went fishing for plankton they fished up 6 times more, by weight, of plastic particles than plankton - in the Pacific Ocean. That doesn't sound healthy for the plankton eaters anywhere in the food chain.

If the solution to pollution is dilution, then conversely a steady reduction in the dilution is an increase in pollution. At some point, the general level of pollution is likely to be a problem and when the whole ocean is up to that level, it will be a bit late to do much about it.

Not that we sailors contribute much to this, at sea. It looks like the majority is entering the sea from the rivers. So my conclusion is that on the MOB thread, anything practical that helps save a MOB life is worth trying. Conversely, on this thread, regarding Dog's linked video, I think there's a problem brewing that is not solved by the assumption that there is enough water in the oceans to handle any amount of pollution.
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