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Old 10-02-2007, 23:24   #1
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Pinpointing location

I am reading a book about cruising at the mo. I am at the chapter on navigation. Now this book was publish in 1980, so the use of sextant is the norm. But anyway, a funny story was told of the guy onboard a cruise ship as a passenger. He had asked the first mate where they were. The first mate replied with, would you like to see on the chart. Yes he replied. The first mate placed a dot on the chart with a sharp pencil and said, "we are right there"!. Sometime later, the second mate asked him if he wanted to see where they were. Umm OK! he replied. The second mate drew a small circle on the chart and said, we are somewhere within that area.
Curiouse, the fellow later asked the third mate if he could see where they were on the chart. The Third mate drew and even bigger circle and said they were somewhere within that. Finaly he talked to the Captain and asked the same question. The Captain placed his hand flat on the chart and said, "with a bit of luck, we should be somewhere in that area"!.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:58   #2
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Well,It looks like the captain had all the knowledge"At hand"<GR>couldn't help that.Mudnut.
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:23   #3
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Great story, Wheels :-)

Some years ago we were returning to the Chesapeake from Florida offshore, riding the Gulf Stream. It had been overcast since leaving a couple of days before and we were nearing the Carolina coast.

A large commercial ship of some sort appeared on the horizon and seemed to track us for awhile. Then, the VHF lit up with a heavy Slavic accent: "Fishing Boat, Fishing Boat, Fishing Boat". We didn't see any fishing boat, but after a number of such calls, finally figured out he was calling us. We answered that we were a sailboat.

"Yes, sail boat. Do you have satellite navigator?"

I replied that no, we didn't , but we had Loran aboard.

"Yes, Loran." Then, laboriously, "What is your position?"

I gave it to him, twice, slowly.

"Thank you very much". And they steamed off into the murk.

Don't know his nationality, but I do know that many East European ships of the time didn't carry much in the way of navigation gear. I could well imagine his angst at having to deal with no celestial fix for a few days, approaching a dangerous coast, and having to calculate the 2-4 knot Gulf Stream current into his DR!

It seemed funny at the time, and kinda nice to be able to help a fellow traveler.

Bill
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:39   #4
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Interestingly, just yesterday I was listening to a conversation with a ship and the port. The ship was docked and the AIS was showing them some place else. The Port was trying to work out if the problem was his end, but the Ship realised his end was reporting somewhere else as well. So they were trying to work out why. Just goes to show that even the new fandangled devices can still get it wrong for you.
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:34   #5
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When you had to actually learn navigation you learned to draw a circle arond your position, the circle grew with time till the next fix, and you made sure nothing harder than water was within that circle.
The problem with today's electronic gadgetry is that people don't learn navigation anymore.
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Old 11-02-2007, 16:24   #6
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Nor do they learn to read the rules at the begining of things. Like when you switch on the electronic chart, they don't read the warning that it is not to be relied upon as an accuret navigation device.
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:51   #7
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Navigation boat show story...

Was at the boat show yesterday, trying to talk to the Fisheries and Oceans representative about electronic charting questions, who was being monopolized by an extremely long-winded gentleman.

It seems the gent had been sailing in some of the area and was completely amazed by what was available with the latest surveys of the past year. (Actually, it isn't available, unless you're inside Fisheries.) After just under an hour of his extolling on this and asking questions completely unrelated to navigation (like "Is it true portions of [Robert's Bank] are unstable, will slip into the Georgia Strait, and cause a tidal wave?") I wandered off having learned 1) he had no radar, 2) he had no GPS, 3) he had a non-working VHF, 4) he had the small-boat chartpack (which is probably enough for his use) but no other charts. And 5) Fisheries representatives can be geeks unable to cut short a pointless conversation.

For the Canadians, I was later able to talk to the booth manager about Canadian ENC charting, who explained there is a "company line" stating who is able to sell ENC charts, and that's the story he's sticking to.
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