The Triton

Uncategorized

Good pigs that could swim, the original GPS

ADVERTISEMENT

While you are cruising amongst the beautiful islands of the Bahamas and Caribbean and navigating by consulting the usually vast array of screens that adorn a wheelhouse these days, spare a thought for those early navigators for whom making landfall was a celebration of both skill and science.

On a recent visit to the crowded port of Victoria on Vancouver Island on the occasion of its Classic Boat Festival, I came across a motoryacht fitted out with an original GPS unit that I thought would be of interest to the modern navigator.

I’m sure that there aren’t many seafarers around these days that really know what the letters GPS stand for.

Way back in the days of sail, vessels in the interisland trade in the Caribbean always used to carry a pig on board, and they were not there to be company for eggs at breakfast. No, they had a much bigger mission in life, and that was in having the ability of being able to direct the vessel toward land, should it lie below the horizon.

Those pigs with a navigator-y snout were highly prized, but the method used was somewhat bizarre as they had to be tossed over the side for their homing instinct to kick in. No doubt that a stout line was firmly attached to the animal as it took to the water, with the captain carefully noting the direction in which the pig would swim.

A bearing would be taken of that heading, the pig carefully hauled aboard, undoubtedly amidst some loud squealing, and the vessel’s course directed onto the pig’s heading.

But not all pigs could swim, apparently, and ship’s captains were always on the lookout for Good Pigs that could Swim, or a GPS.

Now those pigs are flying in orbit around the earth. Who would have thought it possible? But, if you do go for the old fashioned GPS, make sure that you have a good supply of turnips on board.  Isn’t modern technology a wonderful thing?

Related Posts...
Pork Medallions with Chili-Plum Sauce This is one those recipes that Read more...
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has agreed Read more...
Holland-based Wajer & Wajer Yachts has introduced the Osprey 38 Read more...
The 203-foot (62m) Feadship M/Y Sea Owl has left the Read more...
The captain of a vessel involved in a fatal parasailing Read more...

Share This Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Editor’s Picks

FLIBS17: Show tests yacht sale in duty-free FTZ

FLIBS17: Show tests yacht sale in duty-free FTZ

Foreign trade zone offers new options for foreign-flagged yachts By Dorie Cox M/Y Clorinda is able to do what few other …

FLIBS17: New FLIBS dates get rave reviews

FLIBS17: New FLIBS dates get rave reviews

By Dorie Cox Wednesday worked. For as long as most people remember, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has started on Thursday …

USVI Charter Yacht Show previews season, post-hurricane cruising grounds

USVI Charter Yacht Show previews season, post-hurricane cruising grounds

By Carol Bareuther It felt like business as usual at the USVI Charter Yacht Show, hosted by the newly formed Virgin Islands Professional …

Gallery: Triton Networking at Longbow Marine

Gallery: Triton Networking at Longbow Marine

Nearly 300 captains, crew and industry pros joined us last night for Triton Networking at chandlery Longbow Marine in Fort Lauderdale. Low …

Featured Listings