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Story Sailor Sam
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Thread: Sailor Sam

  1. #161
    Join Date
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    4,990
    Thank you so much for these last two installments to an already great story. Now you've left us with yet another massive cliff hanger. Please let us in on the call soon.
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  2. #162
    Chapter 19

    “Rowdy, what the hell is going on. We pulled out of the Small craft harbor and were about 20 miles offshore when the world came to an end. We are in the carribean and I need to know where to go to be safe,” Sam barked into the sat phone, as if his friend could make everything all right.

    “Sam, I wish I could tell you. The Chinese are not exactly at war with us, but they are setting up a blockade at most ports. Not just ours, but all over Europe as well. We have seriously underestimated their ability to make war,” Rowdy told Sam.

    “Well, if if isn’t the Chinese, then who did the bombing,” Sam asked?

    “No one believes the government when they say they don’t know. Most think it was the ragheads sponsored by the ruskies. Everyone is afraid they will step on the wrong toes, so nothing is happening. The yard in Norfolk took a heavy hit and San Diego didn’t fare much better. Curiously, D.C. was almost deserted when everything went down. The potus and crew are MIA,” Rowdy relayed what he knew and had heard on the radio. “If my ass was in a sailboat, and I had the supplies, I think I would make for Argentina. They seem to be the most stable right now and there more than a few Americans making their way down there. Word has it the Argentinians are very accepting of Americans and their dollars. This is on you Sam, but head South. Keep up the schedule we agreed on and I will do my best to keep you advised. If I can get off this assignment, I will meet you there.”

    “Rowdy, there are two of us, and we have enough supplies to make it easily. We will try to keep in touch and if we make if safely, we will expect you to find us. Thanks for everything, I will be in touch,”

    Sam, turned the cell phone off and connected it to the charge controller to be certain it would be ready for the next use.

    “Ever been to South America,” Sam asked Irene?

    “No,” Irene answered, “but I have always had a hankering to go.”

    “I am going to wait one more day to see if Tom has any news, then we are going to head South. Rowdy seems to think we will be safer in Argentina than anywhere else for now. As soon as we clear the lagoon, and get under sail, I want you to start refilling our water tank with the desalinator. We will not be stopping for quite some time, and I would like to know we have everything we need to get there. There will be some smooth sailing, but, there will have to be a watch out the entire trip. We will take turns sleeping, so if you have any questions about handling the boat solo, let’s address that now. There won’t be much training time while we are under way.”

    Together they went over the charts and Irene listened intently as Sam explained some of the finer points of tacking, and what to expect from the prevailing wind. They covered navigation to the point Irene was starting to nod off. Sam preached the importance of the GPS and the sextant. When they finally stopped, Irene was in a serious state of overload.

    “I apologize for the intensity,” Sam said, “but there is no way I can stress the importance of what you are learning. Our very lives may depend on what you know.”

    “I won’t let you down, Sam,” Irene declared, “I will never let you down.”

    The twosome sat down to a veritable feast of the last of the fresh vegetables and fresh caught fish. Sam warned Irene that the time spent preparing elaborated meals was probably behind them for a while. After cleaning up the mess and securing the galley, the two sat back down and rolled out the navigation charts. Sam took his map compass and went into great detail explaining not only the route they would be taking by why he was choosing it. He showed Irene how to gauge their speed and how to set and use the dividers and chart to estimate how far they had traveled. When they finally shut out the lights and crawled in the rack, Sam was satisfied Irene was as ready as he could get her in the short time they had to prepare. Tomorrow would sea trials of a sort. He wanted to watch her handle the boat on her own, under different situations.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  3. #163
    Thanks.
    Now, they're getting serious about it. They still have that Chinese vessel to get past as well.

  4. #164
    fastback08 thanks for more of yur great story.
    Wayne

  5. #165
    Join Date
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    9,143
    Thank you for your story Fastback08. I like the old school approach to hands on sailing. How many modern day gunkholers would be completely lost if their navigation and autopilot apps failed or if navigation satellites went black? With their reliance on apps there may be some weekend sailors that may have to come up to speed quickly with dead reckoning and chart reading, if they still have hard copies. It could get interesting real fast.

    Recently there was mention somewhere the US Navy was again requiring navigators to be skilled with a sextant. Old school and good idea, going with what has a centuries long proven track record and works, just in case.
    Last edited by Old Gray Mare; 05-16-2016 at 07:21 AM.
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

  6. #166
    Chapter 20


    Sam was checking his lines and sails and Irene was doing her very best to stay out of the way, when they heard the putting of Ol' Tom's outboard. Sam stood by to catch the line the old man would surely throw him.

    “Something's not right, Sam,” said Irene with a hint of fear in her voice, “Tom always calls out before he comes in.”

    Sam unsnapped the retaining strap on his 1911 and out of habit he depressed the grip safety three times with the thumb on his strong hand. He was not sure where he picked up the habit, but it assured him the pistol was at his side and ready. “Get below,” Sam snapped at Irene.

    Ol' Tom eased through the break in the brush and pulled along side the forty foot sail boat and had his finger across his lips in the universal sign for shut up. He deftly jumped from his small skiff to the ladder Sam had dropped over the side and climed aboard.

    “Der is a submarine boat, just off the beach. Dey are going back and forth and one of dem fellers has an antenna in his hand and he is pointing everywhere,” Tom said in a low whisper.

    “Damn,” Sam swore, we didn't hear it because they are running on electric. Don't worry Tom, they can't hear us talking with the antenna, they are looking for my radio signal. They will find the cove if they keep looking.”

    “It is even worse than dat, man. Dey are stopping everyboat dat leaves de docks. Dey are going on dem and dey have gotten a wee little bit rough wit some of the fishermen.”

    “Are they detaining, anyone Tom,” Sam asked.

    “So far, dey have only been taking de ones de tink are the Americans. Dey are even sinking some of de boats,” Tom answered.

    Tom, Irene and I need to get away from here ASAP. Do you have any ideas how we might do that,” Sam asked the old man.

    I am going to go back to de dock, and I am going to be getting all of my friends and we are all going to be leaving to go fishing at de same time of day. Dey only have six boats dey be chasing wit. Dey can't catch all of us. We are gonna be leaving the dock at straight up two o'clock. You need to be leaving this place and get yourself on the way to Argentina at straight up two. Don't be looking back.”

    “Wait a minute,” said Sam, alarm clearly present in his voice. "How the hell do you know about Argentina?”

    Sam, I am with the United States CIA. I have been on the Cayman Islands for the last five years monitoring the money laundering by the Chinese and relaying information back to the states. The accent is just something I picked up here. The locals have accepted me and as soon as my retirement is final, I will be staying here. Maybe on this very island. But, back to your problem. I need you to be ready to leave at exactly two PM. I know it isn't the best time to be leaving, but it is the best we can do. Go directly South South East for at least 200 miles before you change course. As of now, it is your best chance. Take care of this lady,” he said gesturing to Irene, “I have grown fond of her. If all this works out, come back and look me up.”

    With that, Ol' Tom jumped limberly over the railing to his skiff and started out of the cove.
    Last edited by fastback08; 05-25-2016 at 11:46 AM.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  7. #167
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Southeast Virginia
    Posts
    303
    Woo-Hoo!

    Thanks!
    Ezra 9:3
    "When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled"

  8. #168
    TB,
    It is getting interesting....
    Thanks....
    Texican....

  9. #169
    Thanks for more of you story
    Wayne

  10. #170
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    Oh my, this is getting better and better. Thanks for the new chapter. Looking forward to more.
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  11. #171
    Join Date
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    Tension is rising, hope they make it without to many complications. Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  12. #172
    And it gets curios-er and curios-er. Thank you.

  13. #173
    Chapter 21


    Twenty three small fishing boats left the small craft harbor on Cayman Brac, at exactly fourteen hundred hours. As soon as they passed the breakwater, they accelerated in every direction away from the harbor. As expected, the Chinese launched every pursuit boat to investigate. The rubber zodiac type boats had little difficulty catching the fishing boats, the difficulty came in the obstinate way the fishermen passively resisted the boarding and searching of their craft. At the exact same moment, a nondescript forty foot sail boat left from it's hidden cove and as quickly as possible set a course for the South Southeast. The prevailing wind was perfect for an almost tack free run.

    “On this course,” Sam told Irene, “we will be about fifty miles from the Jamaican coast.”

    “Will that be safe,” Irene asked?

    “Safe or not, I think Ol' Tom's advice is sound. We are going to stay on this track for two hundred miles, at that point, we will swing South Southeast and maintain a healthy distance from the South American coast. When we clear the Venezuela coast, we will head more Southerly and make for the Rio De La Plata. That is a river that divides Uruguay from Argentina. Then we are going to find the fishing village, Punta Indio. If what I was told was correct, we will have a contact there that will help us get to Buenos Aires. Once there, we will try to blend in, until we are contacted.”

    “Is there a chance we won't be safe,” Irene asked?

    “Baby, we aren't safe now. Rowdy has never steered me wrong. We are going to have to trust that he knows what he is doing,” Sam answered reassuringly. “Why don't you go below and see about rustling up some sandwiches and drinks. I am getting a little dry up here.”

    Sam adjusted his course, made note of his speed and checked his charts. Everything was as it should be, the winds were brisk, but the mast and sails were up for the challenge. Porpoises were running alongside the boat seemingly showing the way. Sam ran the boat's radar for two cycles and noted there were no other vessels showing. “Unless they are in a submersible, looks like we made a clean get away,” Sam thought to himself.

    “Sam, I opened a can of Spam and fried some slices for sandwiches, I hope that's OK,” Irene said.

    “I love fried Spam,” Sam laughed, “I wouldn't have brought it if I didn't like it.”
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  14. #174
    Quote Originally Posted by fastback08 View Post
    Chapter 21


    “Sam, I opened a can of Spam and fried some slices for sandwiche, I hope that's OK,” Irene said.

    “I love fried Spam,” Sam laughed, “I wouldn't have brought it if I didn't like it.”
    Fried spam sandwich with mustard....
    What more could one wish for on the open sea....

    Thanks FB for the chapter....

    Texican....

  15. #175
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
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    Looking forward to their new destination and travel ahead. Thank you!
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  16. #176
    Thanks for the chapter FB.

  17. #177
    Great story fastback08 thank you for posting it and the new chapter, looking forward to more when you can.
    Wayne

  18. #178
    Thanks for the chapter. I really am liking this story!

  19. #179
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Alaska
    Posts
    311
    Thank you!!
    I didn't really bounce Eeyore. I had a cough, and I happened to be behind Eeyore, and I said "Grrrr-oppp-ptschschschz."

  20. #180
    Chapter 22


    The next day dawned bright and clear. The winds required a slight tack, but, Sam and Irene, had brought the forty footer on a more Easterly course and were heading almost straight for Jamaica. Irene took her turn at the wheel and was enjoying the spray and wind. Sam took the time to have a quick shower and clean up some. When he was finished with his personal attention, he turned his efforts to the boat. Swabbing the deck and coiling lines and securing everything that had been brought for use.

    “You sure know your way around a mop,” Irene teased.

    “If you ever serve any time in the Navy, you will know three things very well,” Sam “began, ”You will will know how to chip paint, you will be know how to reapply paint, and you will damn well know how to swab.”

    Irene laughed and then just as suddenly she was all business. “Sam, there is something on the horizon.”

    Sam grabbed the Steiner binoculars and started scanning until he saw what appeared to be a large ship.

    “It is too far out to be certain, but it looks like a cruise ship,” Sam relayed to Irene.

    “So we are OK,” Irene asked?

    “There is no way to be certain,” Sam explained, “Often times, cruise ships are pressed into service as troop carriers, and Ol' Tom. Did say they were using cruise ships to move people off the Islands. Maybe they are moving the Americans off Jamaica as well. Let's get the sail down and maintain this distance. If it is a cruise ship, they may not spot us, it is is a military ship they will have more sophisticated equipment and we have likely already been seen.”

    As quickly as possible the mast was stripped of sail and Sam and Irene killed all the electronics to avoid detection.

    “All we can do now is wait,” said Sam as he threw a fishing line in the water, “We might as well see if we can catch a little supper.”

    While Sam fished, Irene lay on the forward deck with the binoculars and kept an eye on the boat.

    “Sam it doesn’t seem to be moving,” Irene reported.

    “Boats at that distance seem to be moving very slowly,” Sam explained, “That is a very large object and there is no point of reference for you to judge the distance it has moved.”

    Sam landed a couple of small grouper and decided fried fish was the menu for the night. After a fruit salad from cans and fried fish, Sam and Irene killed all the lights and opened the cabin curtains. It was a star filled night and as badly as Sam wanted to turn on the radio, he refused to do so until more was known about the ship they had seen.

    “Might as well get some sleep,” said Sam. Irene agreed and they let the rocking motion of the boat put them out. The next morning, Sam clambered onto to the deck and was faced with a beautiful blood red sky. “Just what we needed,” Sam thought to himself, “just what we needed.”
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  21. #181
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    624
    Thanks, from a new reader,
    Chap

  22. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by fastback08 View Post
    The next morning, Sam clambered onto to the deck and was faced with a beautiful blood red sky. “Just what we needed,” Sam thought to himself, “just what we needed.”
    Yep, just what will the red sky bring????

    Thanks FB....

    Texican....

  23. #183
    Red sky at night, sailor's delight
    Red sky at morning, sailors take warning...

  24. #184
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    nw mountains
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    2,394
    Thank you, batton down the hatches and break out the foul weather gear.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  25. #185
    Thanks fastback08 for the new chapter, I hope the morning storm is not to strong, without knowing the intentions of the boat blocking there path it it limits there options of how to navigate out of or through the storm.
    Wayne

  26. #186
    Thanks FB. Now, weather coming and an unknown ship on the horizon. Which will be the strongest threat?

  27. #187
    Chapter 23


    While Sam scoured the horizon for any signs of the large boat they had seen, Irene started rigging the sails and checking the compass to be certain they were on the right heading.

    “I can see no sign of anything,” Sam told Irene, “but we have other concerns this morning.”

    “What's up,” Irene asked?

    “You ever hear the old axiom, 'Red sky at morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, sailor's delight'”, Sam asked?

    “I have heard it, but I never thought much about it,” said Irene.

    “Well I have spent a large portion of my lie at sea, and I pay attention. We are in for a blow today. Let's get underway and I will try to listen to the radio and see what's up.”

    Sam quickly attached the antenna to the HAM radio and tuned to the Hurricane Watch Net. The net was on twenty meters at 14.325 MHz and was only active if there was a tropical storm or hurricane in the basin. The news was not good, they were on a collision course with a tropical storm and would encounter it by noon tomorrow, if they maintained their current heading. Worse, the storm was on an uncertain track but was forecast to strengthen rapidly and could be a Cat Two storm in twenty four hours.

    “We need to head more Southerly, Irene. This storm could be bad news and quick,” Sam told his first mate.

    “Got it, I am bringing it to South Southwest. What else do I need to do”, Irene asked?

    Just as Sam was about to answer, the SAT phone alarmed. Sam grabbed it and answered with the pre arranged answer, “Go”.

    “Sam, give me your coordinates, I have some weather news for you,” came Rowdy's voice.

    “Rowdy, we are at fifteen degrees North and about eight two degrees West. We are moving South Southwest at about 15 knots,” Sam reported.

    “Copy,” said Rowdy, You need to make for the Swan Islands of the coast of Honduras. There are friendly there. When you get to safe harbor, there is a small US navy craft there. Find them and tell them I sent you. The radio man is a friend of mine. They are held up there until the storm passes.”

    “Thanks, Rowdy,” said Sam, “Anything I should be aware of,”?

    “According to our sources, this could be a catastrophic storm. Cat 5 is being mentioned. Our latest most likely forecasts have it moving almost due East across the Caribbean and then swinging up into the Gulf. This is one to watch. Get South quickly and stay there until you hear from me.” and with that, Rowdy dropped the connection.

    “Irene, secure the wheel and come below, we need to get some things ready,” Sam called out to Irene.

    “As you probably have guessed, that was Rowdy. For some reason, the Government seems to holding back information on the severity of the storm. According to Rowdy's sources, this is going to be a big one. We are changing course again, but we are heading for a safe harbor on the Swan Islands. Make no mistake, we are going to be in for a blow, there, but it will be better than open water. I need you to pay close attention, and if I ask you to do something, just do it. If it sounds crazy, do it anyway and we will discuss it later. We could possibly be in a life threatening situation and there is no time for discussion.”

    “Sam, I trust you,” said Irene, “my life is in your hands.”

    “Good girl. Now grab the chart for Honduras and let's get on our way. While I am plotting our course, top off the water tanks and make certain everything that needs to be below deck is below deck and everything else is lashed down.”
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  28. #188
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    2,394
    Thank you, cat 5 at sea? Not where I want to be on any ship!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  29. #189
    There's always another threat to deal with.
    Thanks, FB. Already looking forward to the next chapter.

  30. #190
    Thanks for the update.

  31. #191
    fastback08, thanks for the new chpater, great story always looking for more of your story.
    Wayne

  32. #192
    Chapter 24



    The outflow from the distant storm had the mast straining, as Sam had every piece of sail he could hang pulling against it. The forty foot boat was running with the wind and Sam was trying to get as much distance as he could from the dangerous hurricane. He lashed the wheel in place and went below and helped Irene stow everything and together they checked and made certain everything was as secure as possible.

    “How fast are we going, Sam”, Irene asked with a touch of concern in her voice?

    “Not as fast as weed to be going, but if I had to guess, I would say we are close to twenty knots, maybe a little more on the gusts”, Sam answered as honestly as he could. “We need to get out of the path of the storm and the government weather forecasters are not giving any details on movement. We are at the mercy of Rowdy and the US Navy.”

    “What time will he contact you,” Irene questioned, “will he have new information”?

    “We are supposed to hook about three o'clock our time, I have the antenna connected if you want to go below and listen.”

    “I wouldn't now what to say if I heard him,” Irene said.

    “That is easy,” Sam answered. “You stick your head out the cabin door, and say, 'Sam, Rowdy in the radio.'”

    “Very funny, Sam, what do I really do.”

    “Well, what I offered would work, or you could key the microphone, and answer with my call sign and ask Rowdy to stand by for a second, then come get me.”

    Sam busied himself with the compass and charts and using his calculated speed figures, he adjusted the steering a couple of points.

    “The speed of the wind will decrease if we outrun the storm, unless the storm changes speed and direction. We need to start charting the wind speed and direction from the weather station and anemometer,” Sam said. We are in a sweet spot right now, but it could and probably will change. If you can, I need you on deck to watch for ships, islands, or anything that doesn't look right,” said Sam.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  33. #193
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    4,990
    Thank you for the thrilling new Chapters. Being a Gulf Coast resident I know all too well what Hurricanes are capable of and I pray they reach safe harbor and the safety net of the US Navy. Please keep em coming!
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  34. #194
    Thanks FB for the chapter....
    Texican....

  35. #195
    fastback08 thanks for more of your great story always looking forward to more.
    Wayne

  36. #196
    Thanks for another chapter FB ... waiting for more!

    I always wondered... when the boat is moving, isn't the on-board weather station relative to the boat's speed, which you don't really know accurately, since everything is relative to the moving water? Wouldn't the wind direction also be skewed since you're moving with the wind? I realize that GPS equipment changes all that if it's tied into the weather station and has absolute numbers. Any of you sailors care to educate me a bit?

  37. #197
    While the boat is moving, the speed and direction of the wind felt aboard is affected by the boat's own course and speed. As an example, a boat anchored in a wind of 20 knots would be experiencing a fresh breeze, but if motoring at 9 knots into the wind would feel an on-deck wind speed of 29 knots or near gale. On the opposite course at the same speed, the apparent wind would be reduced to 11 knots, giving only a moderate breeze.

    There can be vast differences between apparent wind and the actual or true wind. Meteorological agencies are concerned only with true wind though the mast head instruments fitted to many cruising boats measure the wind as it appears to the vessel moving throught the water. Correcting this for the boat's own speed is an easy job if you have a computer linked to your wind instruments, log and GPS. It is not a trivial process but without this it can be carried out by plotting and adding the vectors on graph paper or with a scientific calculator.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  38. #198
    FB must be a sailor....
    FB, can you sail by the stars????
    Running from a hurricane even in a good sized sail boat has to be a challenge....
    Texican....

  39. #199
    Thanks for the information fastback08.
    Wayne

  40. #200
    Thanks for the additional information. I understand all that you discussed, and recognize that the absolute reference from a GPS, or a vessel sitting still can be used to correct the dynamic measurements.

    I was wondering how those without the electronics deal with the constantly moving frame of reference. Air mass moving around the boat, and the boat moving along the water, added to the possibility of the water moving as well.

    When flying with minimal instruments, I could judge ground speed by looking at the ground and my stop watch, regardless of winds aloft and the indicated air speed. Same when driving my boat down the MI river.. indicated speed of 20 mph, river flow of 3 or 4 mph in some areas; but I could watch the bank when the indicated speed was zero and get a good idea of how fast the river was moving. I don't quite see how a mariner can do that if the water is moving and there's no absolute point of reference such as stationary point on the earth. My guess was that an experienced sailor could judge "good enough" to tell if there was current moving the water and adjust accordingly.

    Obviously, my salt water experience is limited to excursion boats.
    Last edited by Sportsman; 06-29-2016 at 05:04 PM.

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