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    Re: history of navigation was GPS
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2004 Oct 13, 20:36 -0500

    > Being one of those who indeed relegate
    > celestial navigation to history, I fell victim to my own bias when I said
    > this.
    
    At the risk of beating a dead horse, and acknowledging opinions seemed to
    pretty well polarized:
    
    Cel nav is dead on the commercial level--no contest.
    
    Most of my experience has been in the Narragansett Bay, Long Island Sound,
    and the Great Lakes.  A bit of Atlantic and Pacific.  I really have no need
    for either cel nav or a SSB radio there.  I hope that in the future that
    will change.  I cannot imagine, however, venturing out into waters on a
    pleasure craft (not equipped with the redundant systems available to
    commercial vessels) where I would require a SSB or other devices (and
    backup) for communications without a sextant or paper charts. The Boy Scout
    in me I guess.
    
    A survey: For those of you who put your trust in GPS, how many of you would
    head out without an age-old technology--the compass?  Do the purchasers of
    new boats bother with one, or use the money for a flat-screen TV? ;-)
    
    As to the boat vs., airplane analogy, I find it flawed.  Apples to oranges.
    
    On a commercial level, ships are sometimes a viable and superior means of
    transportation for goods; over planes, trains, and trucks.
    
    As noted, people sail/boat for pleasure and to maintain their sanity in a
    world where technology has outpaced most people's ability to keep up with
    it.  Like sailing, cel nav reconnects us to nature.
    
    Flying in a private aircraft is indeed fun, but is also pleasurable work,
    perhaps more demanding than boat navigation.
    
    Flying in a commercial aircraft may be time efficient, but not on my list of
    fun things to do.
    
    As those of you who own a boat know, they are neither time or usually cost
    efficient (even if you can sleep 4-6 in the heart of Chicago for $65 a
    night).  A bot requires a lot of time.  My friends distinguish between a
    boat and a yacht based on who does the maintenance.  70' and the owner does
    the work, it's a boat.  16' and the marina does the work, its a yacht. 
    
    If we look at efficiency from a strictly a fuel standpoint, the bicycle is
    tops.  The sailboat must be right up there. To alienate those I have missed
    to date, a speaker at Strictly Sail made the following observation.  The
    dockhand gave the power boater a big smile and wave after as he left the
    dock after taking on 20 gallons of water and 300 gallons of marine gas.  The
    sailboater wondered why he did not get the same send off after taking on 60
    gallons of water, getting a pump out, and topping off with 2 gallons of
    diesel.
    
    
    Bill
    
    
    

       
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