DRIF TING, NOT ‘ADRIFT’
To the editor
Miss Ruby “adrift” on the
Connecticut River? (See “Building Miss
Ruby,” PassageMaker Jan./Feb. ’ 14.)
“Adrift,” although partially defined
as floating on the water without
motive power and without being tied
to anything, also specifically means
without control by anyone—without
steering, without direction or guidance!
Perhaps a better choice of word
would have been “drifting”— to be
carried along by currents; to proceed
or move unhurriedly and smoothly; to
Thoroughly enjoy PassageMaker.
Eagerly look forward to every issue!
Cathedral City & Big Bear Lake,
PAPER OR PLASTIC?
To the editor
Thank for producing such a fine
magazine. I hope you don’t object
to me responding to the opinions
expressed in your article “Heresy!
Should We Ditch Those Paper
Charts?” (Electronics, PassageMaker
Jan./Feb. ’ 14) by using the same format
as that used in the article.
Rocky Bucci: No, No, No
Experience: USCG 1,600-ton
license: motor, steam and auxiliary
sail upon oceans. Family boating on
the Chesapeake from age 10 to 20.
Following that I began serving 26
years in the Coast Guard as a cox’n
and officer in charge afloat, as well as
several other afloat assignments, one
of which included underway officer
of the deck and con. Following my
Coast Guard career I worked in the
Merchant Marine aboard a 3,000-ton
freighter and several tugs. I currently
keep myself busy with sailing yacht
Before I get into the details, let me
say that the respondents who opined
“yes” and “depends” remind me of the
judges on the hit TV show “Dancing
with the Stars.” Their numerical scores
seldom jibe with their words-of-wisdom scores.
I’ll not address the “no” scores in
detail because I agree with all of them
and 90 percent of their reasoning.
YES—Greg: Thanks for your service.
I wonder if you have consulted with
the mine-sweeper captain who ran
his command on a reef (that wasn’t
where it was supposed to be) in the
Philippines. So much for ECDIS.
NO—Henry, Rudy and Jill, Steve,
Monty and Sara, Peter, Wally, Mark:
The majority of your narratives are on
the money. The differences between
you and me are not substantive. Good
vote guys and gals.
DEPENDS—Ben: Do you mean
tools like an in-op chart plotter? The
romantic in me wants to believe that
we can retain traditional skills. Just
in case you’re correct, isn’t that good
reason to require ECDIS at all levels
prior to trashing paper?
DEPENDS—Milt (depends on
experience): Isn’t that exactly the
point? If you are currently not adept
with paper, how can you be up to snuff
with ECDIS? And what happens when
ECDIS gives up?
DEPENDS—Nigel (not your preferred
approach, narrow rock-strewn channel,
essential to safety): All this and more is
reason to opine an unqualified “no.”
DEPENDS—Jeff (never be struck by
lightning, EMP): Let’s add fog and
your wife is in a diabetic coma when
And finally, the icing on the cake.
But first let me admit that it’s likely
impossible for the Coast Guard to
require or to not provide paper charts
for use on uninspected vessels, such as
yachts. That being said, ask yourself
why the International Maritime
Organization and the Coast Guard
are working on allowing merchant
vessels to go paperless and requiring
ECDIS in redundant form before the
last paper leaves the ship. ECDIS is
required because the risk of not having
a redundant system is unacceptable
Letters to the Editor
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