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    Re: Latitude and Longitude by "Noon Sun"
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2005 Jun 7, 15:47 +1000

    Frank alleges:
    > The best backup for GPS is another GPS.
    
    I don't think so. This is a current maritime myth. GPS is the apex of a
    great technological pyramid. What is likely to fail is not so much the unit
    'failing to proceed' (as Rolls Royce were wont to describe a breakdown) but
    a failure of one of the many links in the chain. The fitting connecting the
    antenna, for example - a great location for corrosion. Or losing battery
    power - perhaps because they're under sea water. No way to start the motor.
    Back to the stone age, and all so simply done. One wave down the
    companionway is all it takes. Both of these scenarios have involved me.
    
    Ah yes, but we have these hand held units! Do you really know how many silly
    little AA batteries those things chew up on a regular basis? You'd need a
    bigger boat just to carry enough to cross an ocean. And it gets sillier;
    solar charging rechargeable batteries, yeah yeah. I'm unconvinced.
    
    The sea is a hard place for technology generally and electronics in
    particular. More technology is not always the answer to dependence on
    technology.
    
    Anyhow, all of this is irrelevant; nav is not about tools, all of which have
    a place - especially GPS. Its about using all available tools, especially
    common sense and the five senses. Don't get me started on the Polynesians...
    
    
    

       
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