“News Flash” The world evolved in the last 20years!

Warning this is a rant and I usually speak my mind, so if you are offended by opinion in general just wait for tomorrow’s post you’ve been warned don’t come complain to us.

Three nights ago we attending another talk on offshore sailing, *V* and I came out of it wondering if we were living in the same century as some presenter!! Both tired of hearing the same things over and over…. And this is how our conversation started my rant!

If I hear one more time : “If you leave without a sextant and a full keel boat, you are going to die!” I am going to blow a valve. With all due respect to the old sailors, the world is evolving quickly. “Yes” you did it the hard way and “No” we don’t have to ourselves. Yes you are hero, we are spoiled and lazy! Yes you are real “man”, we, on the other hand want to set on an offshore cruise with our partner, in comfort. Yes you are tough, don’t bruise, we use bandage and ointment on our side.

My feeling is that they are upset because their adventure has been popularized by the knowledge sharing and the evolution of all the technologies. In our eyes they are still great explorers and their experience is a wonderful tool for us to work with. However, we are not the explorers of the past! Just some ordinary folks doing what used to be out of reach for many when only a few with knowledge or craziness were able to set out on their adventure. Furthermore, there are so many blogs, forums available to us explaining how to make things better, thus the world keeps evolving around us…. This is a simple fact of life, in every aspect of business, internet is a tool of communication and education.

Truly a few things, have changed since “you” did your preparation 20-25 years ago and notice that you have been back for 10 years already.

  • Boat design: a few things have happened and it’s called auto cad and computer simulation. They couldn’t even master fibreglass laying 20 years ago, this is why you used to have a thicker hull. Not because it was better built.
  • Multihull: We agree 25 years ago a lot of them were homebuilt and some Trimarans fell apart under the stress. Also a lot of comparisons were made with racing cat and their capsizing rate! Let us remind you, it ‘s racing not cruising! Since then, the French have revolutionized the concept and produced some of longest run in production boat.
  • Production boat: Yes they weren’t exciting at the time because the market was not around for them and the advancement of the manufacturing hadn’t reached this part of the industry. Similarly look at the time chart: this is what Ford did to the automotive industry, and Beneteau now to the marine world.
  • Communication: Yes internet and cell phones were not on the radar, now they are and we use it every day. I am not even talking about Satellite phone, today we don’t really know what’s going to happen in the next 6 months to 3 years. I am ready to bet we will download talk and have internet access soon via a mobile device at the cost of a regular plan.
  • Weather routing: You couldn’t get the weather, now we can have it every 5 minutes from 3 different sources. Again, I agree we are spoiled! In other words, we can avoid bad weather to the best of our ability and don’t have to be in 50 knots wind on a regular basis.
  • GPS: Yes you can buy one for $40, yes your computer can do it too, and even our phones/watches/camera have GPS reporting. We will have about 12 different ways to get our coordinates and if you think they are going to shut it off : well you better stop flying too, because the planes don’t have paper maps in them anymore, they are even authoring full electronic no more paper plate (landing instruction). However one thing, they can do is shut it off in very precise “war zone” or make it less precise.
  • Engine: Yes yours were strange beast, but since then they have been engineered especially for Marine use. They are more trusted and can last a long time if well maintained, you can even find solutions online for all kinds of problem. We even have the manual and all drawings on paper or electronically.
  • Knowledge: You had to rely on old books written ten years prior to your time, we don’t have to. Up to date knowledge sharing over the internet is available 24/7. We can find out the price of a gallon of fuel in Rorotonga in about 2 minutes if we need it or find the part number for whatever you call it in 5 minutes. We can identically ask questions online, and get 10 responses from “experts” in no time.
  • Mail: we don’t have to write letters anymore, we can talk on Skype from anywhere in the world with Internet connection. And e-mails are delivered in record time with normally a quick answer. Regardless of you opinion on computer and electronics not liking sea water…..
  • Transports: We can get something shipped anywhere in the world, “easily” and it doesn’t take three months to get a parcel to Tonga. However sometimes customs can play havoc, I didn’t say it was cheap….
  • Refrigeration: Yes we all have it and don’t eat only canned food anymore sorry for the nostalgia.
  • Solar panel: No we don’t use 40Watts one anymore, but 230W imagine the difference. Let’s not talk about battery we all carry 800 Ah no problem.
  • Lighting: No we don’t use Kerosene anymore, LED is the way to go they use very little power and are more eco friendly.
  • Water maker: No we don’t have to ration ourselves, and drink water from the canned food….we can also shower daily. They have now been operational for 10 years and are working fine.
  • Mapping: We all carry the world chart updated 6 months ago, on a little memory stick that can be read by any computer. Let me reassure you we still have large scale chart just in case we need to do DR. We are not crazy. And we use our eyes when we get close to an area, we learned that from you guys, I told you on the beginning of this awhole “essay” your knowledge is very valuable to us and a great tool. Thank you for taking the time to pass it on.

I could go on forever on other aspect of cruising like ATM machine, EPIRB, spectra line ect…. The world is changing, keep it up or you really look like a dinosaur, we laugh and point. We are spoiled rotten kids and we love it. That why our partner comes with us, they are enjoying it as much as we do. It’s not a macho affair anymore, Damm it guys! we may have ruined it forever. Soon we will have women in charge!

WOW, that out of me/us (as *V* agrees with me 100%)  so if you see us leaving a presentation from now on,  it’s just because we have had enough and really  don’t want to start an argument. It is better to leave them in their world, sorry it’s not mine.

Today no Island for you ladies and gentlemen, see you tomorrow!



3 Comment

  1. We got a kick out of reading your rant. Enough people still get sucked into the old “you have to do it this way”… having met more than a few people while cruising the last few years who had bought into the sextant and a full keel mode of sailing. Once they had actually gotten “out there”, they hated how much longer their passagesw were… it just got very old! As did borrowing water from boat with watermakers, etc. etc. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Nice to hear that the real cruiser are thinking the same way, we love your blog a you are on of the great example of knowledge sharing.

    Keep it up we love it .

  3. Great rant! As those of us who fly know, technology has advanced the world. It is strange how so many pilots embrace technology (maybe because airplanes themselves were such a huge technological leap forward) and yet so many sailors seem like they do not. Imagine if we were still crossing oceans flying 747s with an Astro dome in the top to take star sightings! I tell people that my 767 has triple GPS’s and if that is good enough for going 500 knots, it is certainly good enough for going at 6!

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