Posted by Wayne on April 09, 2001 at 19:32:40:
In Reply to: Navigation and DIW posted by JStone on April 09, 2001 at 18:57:23:
Too many folks think the electronics take the place of planning and record keeping. Last Thanksgiving weekend I was driving from San Diego to L.A. and had a major mechanical problem. I had been using the compass, fuel guage, and watch to keep track of how the trip was going. We were about 30 nm into the trip when we stopped dead in the water. At that time I consulted the machine to verify where we were. My electronic gizmo said I was off track by almost 1/2 mile (about 12 miles off shore). Actually I had compared it to the predicted locations a couple of times based on planned times and locations (even though it was a straight line course).
The point is that I needed rescue, and was sitting in fog. I had >10 gallons of unleaded gasoline in the bilge and more was coming from the tank (still had 65 gallons when it was pumped out many hours later). If I could have safely shut down the battery switch, I would have, but it was in a high fume area. Had I shut it off, I would only have my chart. What if the problem had been electrical?
Battery operated handhelds are small and cheap enough for people to have spares, but again reliance on machines instead of planning and monitoring, is dangerous. And then there is the whole problem of using ANY electrical appliance in an explosifve atmosphere. I was concerned about the use of the VHF (I used a cell phone while standing at the pulpit when I initially called for help). There is a lot of ocean out there.
And for any of you who do boating, if you have not done so, take a class. You would not dive without proper training, do not drive a boat outside the harbor without proper training either. Boats are different than cars!
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