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    Re: What do offshore recreational navigators really do?
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2005 Jun 7, 18:47 -0700

    Peter Fogg wrote:
    > Lu Abel asked:
    >>Do these folks count as mariners made of stern stuff or simply fools??
    > Well, they sailed all around the world over several decades in what would be
    > considered these days a rather primitive timber boat, and did it relying on
    > their own resources - no marinas, let alone GPS or Radar. In one of their
    > books ('The Misty Islands' by Miles Smeeton) Miles recounts wintering in a
    > northern island of Japan, little touched by the modern world, where with
    > some difficulty they had their boat hauled out so they could work on it. In
    > the Spring they sailed via the Aleutian Islands to Alaska. On a navigational
    > note, the Aleutians presented (among others) problems of abundant fog and
    > strong and unpredictable currents; all successfully negotiated. Not so
    > foolish. Towards the end of his life Miles could say that he had visited
    > every page of the Times atlas (after his sailing days were over he made a
    > North West Passage as a guest on an icebreaker). You are, of course, welcome
    > to your own opinion.
    A fantastic sailing resume, for sure.  And therefore maybe "fools" is
    much too harsh a word.  But can we deem them wise sailors when they
    eschewed commonplace safety equipment?   Would we approve if they sailed
    without a life raft?  Or lifejackets?  Or, these days, an EPIRB?
    In a similar vein, Larry and Lin Pardy sailed for a long time in a
    series of engineless sailboats.  As I recollect, their reasoning was
    that engines weren't really that useful and were too much of a
    maintenance hassle.   Wise or foolish?   Maybe it depends on whether one
    is lucky to avoid being caught on a lee shore in a full gale.   It also
    denys a lot of useful harbors (as I recall, the Pardys didn't have a
    powered dinghy either, that some have used as a tug).
    Lu Abel

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