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Old 02-01-2016, 20:54   #1
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Sailing and the Technological Imperative: A New Years Resolution

First let me state flat out I am not a Luddite. Before I retired my area of "expertise" was educational technology.

In the past few years I am noticing a dependence on technology. I have had students so tied to the chartplotter that they do not look around. I had one situation in which an owner thought he could get all the information he needed from his networked tablet while laying in bed.

On my South Atlantic crossing I had decided to while away my time brushing up my celestial navigation, especially sun sights. Just before we departed I wondered into a bookstore and saw Sextant: A Voyage Guided by the Stars and the Men Who Mapped the World's Oceans by David Barrie. I had no choice but to buy it. That was my off shift reading for the trip.

Each mid morning, noon and mid afternoon I took sun sights when the sun was visible. It took a lot of relearning to get the point where I "got" it. The big "gotcha" moment came from the the epilogue of Sextant.

It is time to rediscover the joys of celestial navigation, not merely as a safety net, but because using a sextant to find our way puts us in the closest possible touch with the natural world at its most sublime.
We use the universe to find our place in it.

I usually do not usually do New Years resolutions. But this year I am going to put myself in touch with the universe.

When offshore, at night especially, I often put myself in the animated movie "Cosmic Zoom."

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As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)
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