Recently a gentleman from Seattle, WA departed from American Samoa bound for Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands. He missed!! Ok! these things do happen and he arrived safely on Kauai some 100 miles away. There was a US Coast Guard search for him of course at great expense. Then our intrepid navigator set off for his original planned destination of Honolulu - didn't arrive. USCG search again, calls wife in Seattle, WA to say he is just fine but missed Honolulu, Oahu again, ended up on Hawai'i known as the "Big Island" some 208 miles from Oahu.
Now beyond a joke this guy should be billed for the expenses to we US Taxpayers of this 2nd. USCG search. One suspects that he is an electronic navigator without a clear ability to programme correctly his equipment and without the navigational ability to check its accuracy. Another scenario is that this joker is playing games and causing huge expense, wasted time for the USCG with search equipment being deployed that could have been needed for a "real" emergency elsewhere.
Here at NAUTICAL LOG we wonder if he even took a course in navigation at all. If he did perhaps it was at that School in Seattle which employs the Instructor we mentioned in our editorial yesterday. So perhaps you can now see the reason for the suggestion that instructional protocols at these Schools be reviewed and revised. This is the Instructor that had the audacity to criticise NAUTICAL LOG for including a backup method of finding ones position at sea as a "complete waste of time". This same individual who not only ignores our 60 years of seagoing experience but writes a Blog on space, advanced astronomy and astrophysics. Perhaps even considers himself superior to us ancient mariners who use "old-fashioned and useless methods of celestial navigation" but unknown to him wrote one of the first "Sight Computation Programmes" back in the early 70's.
Well we warned y'all in our Editorial yesterday of our 2012 approach to nautical bovine scatology and this is the first attack - stand by for more as the year progresses. Perhaps we will improve teaching methods and subject matter, have these intrepid navigators checked out prior to their departures on ocean voyages, save huge costs to we US Taxpayers for unnecessary search and rescue missions but most importantly SAVE LIVES.
A note also to all you international racing yachtspersons and others that those 300 of our fellow seafarers are still being held captive by pirates off Somalia. We hope y'all arrived safely in Dubai, please be careful that you do not cut yourself on all that barbed wire but then one supposes there is a first class medical team ready to clean your cut and put on a Band-Aid. Of course those seafarers off Somalia do not even have humanly acceptable living conditions. Do you not feel just a little guilty as you quaff your drinks and party - no guess not.