A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Rommel John Miller
Date: 2016 Jul 19, 16:21 -0400
That’s an interesting thought. It brings to mind the adventure that Dougal Robertson and his family had in the book “Survive the savage sea.” 1973. Praeger Publishers. Also a film, which know nothing about.
Wouldn’t you at least like to know where the drift is taking you? Not that it matters, but Dougal Robertson had the right idea in mind to salvage as much as he could before his boat “Lucette” was struck through by a killer whale and sunk in a relative heartbeat.
He thought the sextant too might come in handy. As would the mathematical knowledge to compute the position accurately.
As far as the Hitchcock film “Lifeboat” (1944) goes the movie was on TCM last night and I watched it; they didn’t have an aircraft sextant or any type of commodity that might add to the chances of their survival.
Sorry for presuming they did, but Robertson definitely had some type of sextant aboard his raft and dinghy. The interesting thing about the dinghy too was the fact that they jury rigged a lateen type sail to a make-shift mast.
When stuck in a raft in the middle of an ocean ingenuity is truly the mother of invention and any effort to help you survive and prolong your chances of rescue are a sign of a good mental attitude to have when in that predicament.
So while the knowledge of position isn’t essential to surviving in a raft, it does help to know where you are going.
The salvific moment in Lifeboat was when they are spotted by a rescue boat. And how they were sighted is a story in itself. A German supply ship was first on the scene but was being pursued by an allied warship. As the Nazis were coming to the lifeboat and its inhabitants rescue a direct hit from a shell blows the German ship up and she sinks fast.
The Naval ship is shown coming down on them as the film closes, each member of the “crew” sensing true salvation, begins to take on a radically different and fresher than before attitude. Where hopeless gave way to fear earlier in the film, and the sight of the German boat possibly rescuing and a taking them to a concentration camp depressed them even more, but when the German ship was sunk and they were in the throes of hope of saving, they began to take on worldly, and very temporal attitudes.
Hitchcock I believe intended this movie to be a study of human and raw emotion. The kind or emotion the real survivors of the sinking of the Lucette experienced. The book is available on used book sites for the Savage Sea and the film is readily available on You Tube or through TCM and TCM Watch.
But thank you for your inquiry it provided me a chance to correct myself on Lifeboat (film) and to add a real life story of survival where the sextant played an important but maybe meaningless after the sail dinghy sunk.
Oh well, we learn by positing questions and I took no offense at your criticism. I learn too when people write and ask me to explain myself a little better.
The real drawback of having PTSD is the fact that I don’t or won’t or can’t proofread. I am by nature of the disorder a very extemporaneous writer and I have gotten a lot of criticism for that.
I am learning to let hurt go.
Rommel John Miller
From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Lu Abel
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 3:29 PM
Subject: [NavList] Re: And even more celestial-in-case-GPS-goes-down silliness
Apologies in advance for picking on your particular reply since others have advocated this repeatedly....
What good does it do to know your position if you are in a life raft?
You have no motive power. Your boat is designed to keep you afloat, not to move. It has no sails, no motor...