Addictive Distractions

One summer, travelling at the outrageous speed of 8 knots, I kissed two logs.  No physical damage was done to the boat.  The logs were on the smallish side, and resurfaced behind me.  I looked around to see if anyone noticed, and although alone, my ego was bruised - likely more than the logs!

Later that summer, I heard a witticism that the US Coast Guard created an acronym for a collision caused by a boat operator being distracted by peering into a screen.  I can’t find the acronym, but did find the idea amusing until I realized in both my log incidents, I was texting.  And added to my bruised ego was a deeply felt shame and stupidity.  And I recalled a few other incidents - an owner I know was showing his grand children how the chart plotter worked, and drove up on a rock on a receding tide.  Four boats off Moresby Island - a pristine wilderness - three helmsman were on the radio in deep discussion about a Windows issues while ours watched an eagle lift off the sparkling sea with a huge salmon.  Another distracted friend ran into a large island as his autopilot was, somehow distracted.  The stories go on and on.

All involve distraction.

So, I no longer text at sea.  As one writer put it:  “If you are texting from the helm, you’re not likely helming the boat.”  My logs could have been a paddle boarder.  Or another distracted boater.  Or a rock.

DIDIOT might work as the acronym.  Meaning “Distracted Idiot.”  Or, back to my opening line, DATAE.  “Distracted Addict To Anything Electronic.”  Of course, peering at a paper chart could have the same result.  Other suggestions are welcome.

So, US Coast Guard aside, “DISTRACTED” says it all - Don’t Be!



Wise words by Brian Kell, Co-Founder of Grand Yachts Inc. - CPYB

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