What would you do if....? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 29 Old 05-16-2011 Thread Starter
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What would you do if....?

Just for fun....

What if you could revive an old sailing captain from the 18th or 17th century, and spend a week with him? After finding out if Pusser's rum truly is the same as it was back then, what would you ask him? What would you most want to show him about sailing today? Let's assume he's already had several days to spend with a modern merchant vessel captain, and got to power a Maersk across a few miles of open sea, and got all that out of his system.

Dacron?

Bow-thrusters?

GPS?

How do you think an old-tyme square rigger captain could handle a modern sloop?

Well, back to the Pussers.....
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post #2 of 29 Old 05-16-2011
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How do you think an old-tyme square rigger captain could handle a modern sloop?
I'd think he could probably handle it just fine (and sail it 'by feel' better than many people I know) ...but would be absolutely horrified at the thought of sailing something so touchy, flimsy and so generally unseaworthy anywhere out of sight of land - and I wouldn't like to be his crew!

To be honest, I think I'd learn more from him than he'd ever learn from me.

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post #3 of 29 Old 05-16-2011
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I’d like to know how they were able to navigate without the ability (or sometimes even the knowledge) to determine longitude.
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post #4 of 29 Old 05-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
Just for fun....

What if you could revive an old sailing captain from the 18th or 17th century, and spend a week with him? After finding out if Pusser's rum truly is the same as it was back then, what would you ask him? .
to have a bath and put on clean clothes ?

Andrew B

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― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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post #5 of 29 Old 05-16-2011 Thread Starter
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I think that's policy.....all resurrections come with complimentary bath, shave, and clean duds... ;-)
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-16-2011
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He might enjoy looking at a map of the earth.
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-16-2011
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I’d like to know how they were able to navigate without the ability (or sometimes even the knowledge) to determine longitude.
The Lunar Distance Method was introduced in "about 1767" as an accurate way to determine longitude and either Octants or Sextants were already in regular use, meaning Ships Captains of those days needed to be very good at spherical trigonometry - something I suspect most of us would fail at (I would!).

The mind boggles when you think of the pages and pages of calculations that the early maritime explorers (Cook and others) were required to do to accurately chart the coastline of a country - accurately enough that modern satellite imaging changed charts of this region very little indeed!

Before 1767 they just stayed a long, long way away from land and used their knowledge of the sea and sky (colour, temperature, wave and cloud patterns), compass course and distance run to tell them approximately where they were.

How did they do it? Basically, with no "lazy" way (like GPS) to safely determine where they were going, the ones that lived to tell the tale were just very, very good - they had to be.

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

Last edited by Classic30; 05-16-2011 at 10:30 PM.
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post #8 of 29 Old 05-16-2011
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I think that he would be truly sadened by the current state of affairs and would miss the old pirates a bit.

It's all about the BOOTY
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post #9 of 29 Old 05-16-2011
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Bow bunnies in bikinis maybe?
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post #10 of 29 Old 05-17-2011
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I wouldn't waste my time or his asking him how they did it without GPS - it's of little value to me or him. But the OP's is a nice question.

If I wanted to show off technology I guess I'd show him Google Earth.

If I wanted to show off boat equipment I think I'd show him the auto-pilot.

If I wanted to show him sailing technique I'd take the boat to weather and beat at 8 knots.

I wouldn't waste time with Pussers (other than maybe sharing some) because nothing has really changed there.


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