Author Archives: Don Burdge

Merit Badge Day at the Museum

One Hundred Boy Scouts descended upon the International Printing Museum in Carson California Saturday, August 13th, to earn two merit badges; Pulp & Paper and Graphic Arts.  Thanks to over 20 museum and industry volunteers the boys made paper, silk screened t-shirts, and printed cards that they designed that day.

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Ten groups of ten boys rotated every half hour to various stations set up around the museum property in order to pass the requirements for the two merit badges.  On the museum grounds volunteers helped the boys blend pulp which was then poured onto wire frames allowing each boy to take home the paper they made.

 

Boys also silk screened their own commemorative Merit Badge Day T-shirt while volunteers taught the boys about various bindery methods in order to fulfill that requirement for the graphic arts merit badge as well as how to identify the various types of printing they run across at home and at school.

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Since the first Merit Badge Day on May 7th 2011 over 2,000 boys have been exposed to the graphic arts and paper industry at the International Printing Museum.  Mark Barbour, curator of the museum, Dan Freeland, museum chairman, and I came up with the idea to host a merit badge day in order to promote paper making and the graphic arts to a generation of kids raised on iPads and cell phones.  This was during a time when funding was cut in the education system for printing programs.

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Fewer and fewer boys are learning about the printing and paper industries and we thought there might be a desire among the boy scouts to learn while earning a merit badge.  I contacted the Boy Scout National Office back then and learned that the Graphic Arts and Pulp and Paper Merit Badges were among the least popular of all the merit badges boys can earn.  When my son was in scouts, I remembered that Merit badge days were popular among boys seeking rank advancement. At the same time Mark had been working on a way to get the Boy Scouts more involved with the museum so we came up with the idea of creating a Merit Badge Day.

When asked why they signed up, one boy from Orange County said he had always been interested in Printing and this sounded “Cool”.  Another boy said he liked engineering and he thought a job in this industry might be interesting.  A third scout said he was there because his friend decided to come and he liked the chance to make something by hand.

Because of the Merit Badge Day, the Printing Museum now has a steady stream of new visitors, the Boy Scouts now have a way to learn about our industry while earning two merit badges, and the printing industry is once again educating a group of smart and engaged boys who will soon enter the workforce. Now thousands of boys are learning about the careers and benefits of the graphic arts and paper industries.

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Just one word. Plastics.

 

In 2005 when I sailed to Hawaii from Los Angeles, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t see some large piece of floating trash out there.

It’s estimated that there are 200 million tons of trash floating around in the ocean right now.ocean trash

8 million tons of plastic are added each year. That’s the same as one garbage truck dumping its contents on the beach, every minute of every day!

dump at beachThe US only recycles 8% of the plastic we use. Of the remaining plastic we don’t use 75% goes into landfills and 25% of it ends up in the ocean.

After several years’ plastic breaks down into “microbeads” which are ingested by fish and eventually us.

plastic in fish

If you’ve been following the Olympics in Rio you may have heard the story about the trash and pollution in Guanabara Bay where the Sailing competition is taking place.  Conditions are so bad there that German sailor Eddie Byers was hospitalized from an infection he contracted while practicing on the Olympic venue. This problem isn’t new to Olympic sailors, they experienced similar polluted conditions when they competed in the 2008 Beijing and the 1988 Seoul Games.

But these polluted water conditions are not limited to nations not known for their environmental policies.  Just last month the beaches in Long Beach were closed for a week due to a sewage spill into the Los Angeles River originating from a few blocks east of us on 6th street.

But sewers can be fixed and the water runoff can go through treatment facilities before heading to the oceans.  We can see the results from our shorelines but what most of us don’t see is the large collection of plastic trash currently circulating in the world’s oceans.

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There are 5 areas in the world where, due to the ocean currents, trash collects in large clusters, these areas are known as GYRE’s.  The largest is the North Pacific gyre 500 miles North East of Hawaii, otherwise known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  This area is not on the major shipping lanes and few sailors travel in this area, and it’s a good thing because the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is as large as the State of Texas, and growing.

alguitaIn Long Beach, Captain Charles Moore, has been taking researchers out to the North Pacific Gyre since 1999 on his 50-foot research vessel Algalita.   Upon returning from their last trip in 2014 he reported that conditions have worsened by 20% from the way they were in 2009.  Plastic takes 400 years to dissolve naturally in the environment. If the trend of plastic in the ocean continues, he estimates, that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish!

 

But what can be done to stop this man-made disaster?  How did we get to this point?

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50 years ago a young actor named Dustin Hoffman was told by Mr. Robinson in The Graduate that the future is in plastic.  Little did he know that the future for the next 400 years will be in getting rid of that plastic.

 

 

There are only 4 things we can do with the plastic we use:

  1. Use less.  Use paper cups, use glass or Nalgene bottles, use paper grocery bags or bring your own.recycle
  2. Recycle.  90% of all plastic is not recycled. When you put your used plastic into a recycling container, that plastic gets hauled off and made into new plastic products.
  3. Toss it. You can toss your used plastic into the regular garbage can where it will be hauled to a landfill.  The problem with this is that that plastic will be broken down into micro particulates and leach into the water table, still staying around for 400 years.
  4. Litter. Some people carelessly toss their trash directly into the environment, into our oceans or onto our streets and hiking trails.  One bad habit, according to my wife, that I’ve gotten into is picking up other peoples’ trash when I come across it (as long as it isn’t too grouse).

In closing, remember.  The next time you look out into the ocean, it may look huge and beautiful but without our involvement it won’t stay that way for our kids and grand kids to enjoy like we have.

sand of beach caribbean sea

sand of beach caribbean sea

A Brand New You

For the past 35 years I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best designers in the country to bring some of the best brands in the world to life.  I had the privilege to work with Saul Bass when he designed the identity for The Getty Museum, Wolf Owens when they re-designed Aol, Debra Sussman when she designed the new identity for The Gas Company and Siegel & Gale when they designed the identity for the Port of Long Beach.

I’ve also been proud to have been selected by some of America’s leading brands to manage the printing part of their identity programs.  Brands such as Toyota, Edison, Activision Blizzard, Occidental Petroleum, Fluor and Paul Hastings along with thousands of others.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is that brands are more than just logos, they represent the personality of the company.

Marcus Bartlett, creative director for UTA Brand Studio, recently illustrated for me the difference between marketing, advertising, public relations and branding.  He explained it this way:

A man walks into a bar and goes up to a beautiful girl and tells her “I’m a great lover”. –that’s marketing.

marketingA man walks into a bar and tells everyone in the room “I’m a great lover, I’m a great lover, I’m a great lover” – that’s advertising.

advertisingA man walks into a bar and he goes up to an attractive girl and offers her $100 to go around telling her friends “Trust me. He’s a great lover” – that’s public relations.

public relationsBut when a man walks into a bar and a girl walks up to him and says “I understand you’re a great lover” – that’s branding.

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What’s the difference between a brand and your reputation?  Your brand is someone saying “I understand you’re a great lover” and your reputation confirms it.  Your brand is what you want others to say about you and your reputation validates that.

Branding; it all started with cattle.download

When ranchers needed a way to know whose cow was whose they branded them.  Then, during the industrial revolution product manufacturers needed a way to let the public know whose soup was whose and whose caramel colored soda was whose so they branded them.  The results were Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup among hundreds of others.  Then in advertising’s golden age of the 1060’s J. Walter Thompson attached personalities to brands with slogans like “it’s the real thing” and “mmm mmm good”.

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In the early 1970’s brands began to attach feeling and emotion to them.  What Mad Men fan could forget the final episode when Don Draper dreams up the emotional ad for Coca-Cola “I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony”.

By the 1980’s brands had become a valuable asset of a company.  What else could explain the fact that in 1988 Phillip Morris bought Kraft Foods for 6 times what Kraft was worth on paper.kraft

 

As one example of how valuable brands can be, consider the story of Grey Goose Vodka.

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In 1996 Sidney Frank, a 60-year-old German Spirits distributor, started with a story about a vodka he called Grey Goose.  The story was how French artisans crafted fine vodka in their fields over generations to come up with the perfect purist vodka on earth.  What Frank did next was brilliant, he priced his new vodka twice as much as the other brands that were then on the market.  Instead of selling Grey Goose for around $17.00 a bottle like everyone else, Frank priced his vodka at $30.00 a bottle.

grey goose best

But in order for the public to buy his more expensive vodka he had to have someone else, an expert, tell the world that Grey Goose was the best.  So he started entering his vodka into contest after contest until he finally won.  He then took out full page ads in the Wall Street Journal in 1998 stating that The Beverage Institute of Chicago voted Grey Goose Vodka the “World’s Best Tasting Vodka”.  The public believed it and sales took off.

Eight years later, in 2006, Sidney Frank sold Grey Goose to Bacardi for $2 billion dollars.  But sadly, Frank never got to enjoy his riches for long, he died one week after the deal closed while flying on his private jet to New York City.

 

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Every year the New York branding company Interbrand publishes their “Top 100 Brands of the World”.  In 2015 those brands were:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Coca-Cola
  4. Microsoft
  5. IBM

Today, according to Interbrand, brands need to move with the speed of life.  Since we are exposed to thousands of brands every day, brands need to live in micro-moments that weave into our lives as we live them. The top brands today are customer centric in the “age of you”.

 

By now you may be asking yourself, what is my brand? 

What is the promise I’m making to my customers? 

Is it “I’m the best tax attorney in California”? 

Is it “We make our customers rich”?

Be honest with yourself, does your reputation support your claim? 

Have you always saved your clients money on their taxes? 

Have you never lost a dime for any of your clients?

Remember, your brand is about relevancy and differentiation and your reputation is about legitimacy.

What does yours say about you?

ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE’RE LOSING THE MAST!

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Jim Barber, Scott Barber, Bill Wright, Don Burdge, Steve Calhoun before the start of Pac Cup 2016 at the St Francis Yacht Club

 

It’s Friday morning four days after our start in the Pacific Cup race and I’m sitting at home.  The past four days have not been anything like we had planned.

The wind for the start at 10:00 Monday morning off the St Francis Yacht club was stronger than we had expected.  so we used our smaller #3 jib expecting the wind to build, it didn’t.  In fact, once we passed under the golden gate bridge the wind began to die.  Redhead, another Cal 40 like ours and our main competition, had started with their bigger #1 jib and they were sailing faster than us.  We changed sails and began catching them as we headed 25 miles toward the Farallon Islands.  Our goal was to get into the stronger synoptic wind past the Farallon’s before nightfall, and we did.

Steve and Jim sailing past the golden gate

Steve and Jim sailing past the golden gate

Just past the golden gate we must have passed about a dozen humpback whales which we took as a good sign.  Just off Point Bonita I was sitting on the deck and about 5 yards ahead of me I heard the “swoosh” of breath and spray of two humpback whales coming up right next to us.  Their strong gray backs and small dorsal fins arching in the water next to us was a beautiful sight to see.  Then their huge graceful tails guiding them down to depths below us as if they were waving good-bye.

I went down below deck and rested for a few hours before my first watch from 1000 – 1200.  Below decks the cabin was organized to us, but would have looked cramped and chaotic to any sane person.  We had our nine sails arraigned on the portside of the cabin floor with our gear bags and foul weather gear thrown on top of them.

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Steve below deck checking our position

By the time I woke for my first watch the wind was up to 20kts and building, we were in the synoptic wind before sundown that we had hoped for.  For the next hour it increased to 25kts and we decided it was time to put a reef into the mainsail.  A reef is when you lower the sail about 3 feet down the mast and tie the part you lowered onto the boom.  This has the effect of decreasing the sail area and giving you more control over the boat.

By the time I went off watch at 1200 we were sailing along at 8-10kts with winds 25-28kts and the seas were 8-10 feet crashing over our bow.  Every few minutes a huge wave would come crashing against the side of the boat and gallons of cold (53 degree) seawater would come pouring over us, drenching anyone on deck.

Our watches consisted of two of us taking turns at the helm for an hour each.  I shared my watch with Steve Calhoun and Bill Wright.  When I came up on deck I relieved Steve who went off watch to bed, then Bill came up and sat with me as I steered for an hour.  When my 2-hour watch was over I went down below and woke Jim up to stay with Bill as he drove.

My next watch was at 0100 the next morning.  As I got out of my warm bunk I could tell it was still blowing strong outside.  With the boat pitching and rolling 45 degrees in the dark it seemed like it took forever to find and put my wet foul weather gear and boots on; including my PFD (life vest) with the harness used to clip into the boat whenever we were on deck.

On watch Steve was driving as I took a tour around the deck to make sure things looked as they should.  The wind had dropped down a little, to about 20kts, so we determined it would be a good idea to take the reef out of the main.  We got Jim and Scott up and on deck to raise the sail back up to its full height.  Our speed stayed the same and we were still under control so we felt we made the right decision.

By this time the wind had clocked around and was coming off our weather rail at about 60 degrees.  This meant that we had the boom out about 5 feet over the side of the boat as we trimmed the sails for maximum speed.  The seas were still very rough and wet, cold water was still spraying us as we hunkered down in the cockpit.  As I drove from 0200 to 0300 I couldn’t help think of the fireworks I saw the weekend before during the 4th of July.  The spray off the bow was illumined by the red and green running lights of our ship made them look like our private firework show along with the sound of the crashing hull against the waves.

There were high clouds during my watch which kept the stars and moon hidden from view.  This meant that the only light was from our running lights.  As I looked into the darkness I could see only the white crests of the waves as they rolled and growled beneath us.  The only sound we heard was that of the wind howling in the rigging and the sound the sails as they strain to pull us forward.

At 0300 my watch was over and I went down below to wake up Jim who was to relive me.  As I put my head in the cabin to wake him I hear an unusual noise, a clanging and rattling that I hadn’t heard before.  I asked Jim about it and he said he heard it too.  We agreed that when Jim went up on watch that he’d look around the deck to see if something was loose.

Jim got his foulies on as I was taking mine off and crawling into the warm bunk he was vacating.  Bill was steering now and I hear Jim walking around above me checking things out.  Then all of a sudden I heard him scream in a panic I had never heard before.

“ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE’RE LOSING THE MAST!”

Steve, Scott and I scrambled to put our foul weather gear, boots and life jackets on as quickly as possible then rushing outside in the rolling seas and howling wind.  By the time we were on deck Jim had used a spare line to lash the base of the mast in place, which was sitting on the cabin top two inched next to where it was supposed to be, hopefully to prevent it from sliding any further and falling into the water.

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Our mast lashed in place 2 inches to starboard from where it should be

As Bill kept the boat on a steady course the rest of us struggled to take down the two sails and get them below deck.  We then went about lashing the mast and boom into place to try to make it as secure as possible in these rolling seas.

Once we had things tied down we checked to make sure there were no lines in the water before we started the engine.  The last thing we wanted to do was to have a loose line wrap itself around the prop and disabling our only means of propulsion.

We checked our position on the chart and determined we were about 140 miles west of Monterey Bay where they would have a boatyard suitable to help us.  We plotted a course and with our engine running at a steady 5kts headed toward land.

Once we felt we had our emergency under control we called the Coast Guard to let them know of our situation.

Steve: “Pan-pan, Pan-pan, United States Coast Guard this is the vessel Psyche.  Our position is 36.31 North, 124.40 West.  We have five crew onboard, all safe.  We have lost our mast but have it secured to our vessel.  We are on a heading 65 degrees for Monterey California and wanted to make you aware of our situation.  Do you copy, over?”  “This is United States Coast Guard San Francisco Station we copy you Psyche.  We will monitor your progress and we ask that you put your lifeboat on deck ready for deployment in case you need to abandon ship.  We also ask that you check in with us every hour to keep us informed of your situation”.  “Copy that Coast Guard, Psyche out.”

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Steve calling the Coast Guard with Scott on watch

We also made a call to the Pacific Cup race committee informing them that we were withdrawing from the race and we called our wives to let them hear directly from us of our situation and that we were safe and abandoning the race.

Thirty hours later we pulled up to the dock at the Monterey Boat works and went about the process to have the mast pulled off the boat.  We consider ourselves very fortunate that during the day and a half we had to motor Psyche to safety that we were able to keep the rig onboard.  We had two fears after the initial accident, one was that the rig would be knocked over in a huge wave causing more damage to Psyche or to one of us.  The other was that we would run out of fuel before we made it to a safe harbor.  As it turned out we had about seven gallons of diesel left over.

As I look back over the events of the past few days I realize how fortunate we were.  If the mast was going to fail, at least it did so in a place that we could safely make it back to port.  Looking at the weather forecast for the rest of the race it could have been dire if we had dis-masted in front of one of the hurricanes that are heading toward Hawaii.

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Hurricane Darvey forecast to hit Hawaii Friday July 22.

We felt we would have done very well in this race.  As of this morning Redhead is leading our class and is in 4th overall.  They heard of our situation and relayed how disappointed they were that they didn’t have us out there to race against.

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The Pac Cup racers today, Friday July 15 2016

There is a saying that life has a way of happening when you make other plans.  Perhaps we lost our mast where and when we did in order to save our boat and perhaps our lives.  We’ll never know but at least we’ll be here to race another day.

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Bill Wright, Jim Barber, Steve Calhoun, Scott Barber, and me yesterday at the Monterey Boat Works with Psyche sans mast.

The night before the start

It’s 5:00 Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting in the St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco with my friend and fellow crew member Bill Wright. Psyche, the Cal 40 that we’re racing tomorrow to Hawaii is at the guest dock waiting, like we are, for this race to start.

Yesterday we met up with Jim and Scott Barber along with Steve Calhoun and their families. Steve, Jim, Scott, Bill and I have prepared ourselves and our boat to the best of our ability over the past year and a half and this afternoon we feel as ready as we’ll ever be to get going.

The thing about ocean racing is that it’s all about the weather and it looks like we’ll have plenty of it. For the first few hours after the start at 10:10 tomorrow morning we’ll need to concentrate on tacking out under the golden gate on the ebb tide. Our goal is to reach the synoptic wind before nightfall. The sea breeze (the wind coming off the sea which makes San Francisco so windy in the summer) is projected to to be light at our start (around 6 knots) then building quickly as we reach the Farallon Islands about 25 miles west of the gate. 

By then we should start feeling, and smelling, the synoptic wind. The synoptic wind is generated by the high pressure system sitting about 500 miles to the North West of us. This is known as the “Pacific High”. Races across the Pacific are won or lost based on where we go from here in relation to the Pacific High.

For the past few days we’ve been listening to weather reports and going to the NOAA website to see what the weather is forecast to do for the next two weeks. At first it didn’t look pretty. We were looking at winds up to 35 knots the first day out then we would have to fit ourselves in-between two hurricanes whose paths go between us and Hawaii.  

This morning we listened to the forecast from a weather “expert” and the revised forecast is for 20-25 knots about 24 hours from now as we get into that synoptic wind. Then we have to race across what we call the “ridge” which are decreasing pressure zones created by the Pacific High. The next big decision we have to make is how far away from the rum line (the most direct route to Hawaii) we should go in order to be in more favorable winds.  

At some point along this ridge, we have to decide where to get into the slotcar portion of the race. That’s the part where we’re in the trade winds and we put up our big colorful spinnaker for the run for Hawaii. The weather forecast for this portion of the race is interesting. As I mentioned earlier there are currently two hurricanes heading from Mexico to the Hawaiian Islands at the same time we’re heading there. They’re suppose to disapate into tropical storms and pass ahead of us, but you never know. Even if they do, tropical storms can blow up to 50 miles per hour! Plus the seas are forecast to be big and sloppy.

The software program we use on the race projects that we’ll spend the next 12 or 13 days out there trying to find the fastest, and safest route to the finish line at Kaneohe. You can read our daily reports written by Bill Wright at http://www.billyspaccup.com and follow our track on http://www.pacificcup.org.

I hope the forecast changes in our favor.

Aloha

Sailing Psyche…again

Ten O’clock on Monday morning, July 11th the Pacific Cup Yacht race will start just inside San Francisco bay on an ebb tide under the Golden Gate bridge.

Five friends; Steve Calhoun, Jim Barber, Scott Barber, Bill Wright and I will be racing 2,050 nautical miles from San Francisco to the finish line at Kaneohe Bay on the north shore of Oahu.

The boat we’re sailing on is a Cal 40 named Psyche owned by Steve. In 1965 Psyche was owned by Don Salisury. Don and five of his friends; George Griffith, Jack Jensen, Ben Mitchell, Connie Dorian and Wade Hill sailed her to victory in the 1965 Transpacific Yacht Race. They finished ahead of 55 other boats competing that year in one of the toughest and fastest races on record, sailing non-stop in 12 days, 5 hours and 6 minutes.

1965 Transpac Psyche crew

Psyche 1965 Transpac crew

Eleven years ago in 2005 I raced with Steve, Jim, Bill, Carlton Seaver and James Learned on Psyche across the Pacific in that year’s Transpac race. We finished 3rd in our class that year.

2005 crew finish

Psyche 2005 crew: Bill Wright, Carton Seaver, Don Burdge, Steve Calhoun, Jim Barber, James Learned

Now, in 2016, fifty-one years later, we will race Psyche across the pacific with the same goal in mind…to win.

We hope to prove that even a boat approaching 60 years old, sailed by guys about that same age, can still sail to victory ahead of the rest of the fleet.

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Psyche: winner of the 1965 Transpac

GPS – A Navigation Game Changer

 

Back in 1965 in order for the sailor to know where they were when far from land they had to rely on a sextant, an accurate time instrument known as a marine chronometer, and tables to show the position of the sun and stars.

A sextant is like a big hand held protractor with a split screen.  To use it you had to stand up on a pitching and rolling deck then look into one end to find the horizon on one side of the split screen and at the same time, you had to find a known star or the sun in the other split screen.

sextant 1Then you had to line the two of them up and look at the “protractor” part of the sextant to read the angle between the them.  You also had to record the exact time that you did all this.  Then after all that, you had to go down below deck and look up in this big book of star and sun calculations to get the information you needed to compute your longitude and latitude.  Sometimes this took hours to complete and if you were off by one of the many variables your plot could be way off course.

Sailors have been using this method to figure their latitude and longitude since 1761. The British government offered a large prize of £20,000, equivalent to millions of pounds today, for anyone who could determine longitude accurately. The reward was claimed by a Yorkshire carpenter, John Harrison, who invented the first timepiece that didn’t need a pendulum to keep time (you can’t use a pendulum on a rocking ship).  Sextants had been around since the early 1700’s.

sputnikToday, thanks to 3 things; Sputnik, the cold war, and the Department of Defense all that has changed.

Sputnik was the first man-made satellite to circle the earth.  Launched by the Russians in 1957 it scared a proud nation into the fact that the Russians were ahead of us in the cold war.

So the Department of Defense asked our scientists to figure a way, using satellites, to pinpoint the position of our Navy subs that were lurking under the earth’s oceans carrying nuclear warheads aimed at Russian cities.  They figured that if a submarine captain knew where he was when he surfaced, and he knew the coordinates of Moscow, then the US could have a huge advantage over the Russians.

subThis was the beginning of what we now know as the Global Positioning System, or GPS.  GPS is still maintained by the US military, but is now its available for the public to use.  It consists of a series of 20 low orbit satellites circling the globe sending information about where they are and what time it is, to receivers on earth.

Whether you know it or not, all of us use GPS technology today in our cars and our phones.  When you ask Suri how to get home, it takes her just a fraction of a second to figure out where you are, where you want to go, and the best way to get there.

Out at sea we use GPS receivers plot our exact location on our electronic charts.  GPS is so common that just a few years ago mariners are no longer required to even have paper charts on their vessel to navigate with, let alone a sextant and chronometer.

golden gateOn July 11 Five of us will be racing in the Pacific Cup Yacht Race; 2,050 nautical miles from San Francisco to the finish line at Kaneohe Bay on the north shore of Oahu.  While at sea for the 13 or 14 days it will take us to get there, we’ll be relying on GPS for a number of things.

First, to show us where we are on our electronic chart and laptop and to show us where the finish line is.  But it will still be up to us to us to figure the fastest way to get there using our knowledge of the sea, weather, and sailing experience.

epirbIn case things go very wrong while we’re out at sea, GPS will also be there to help us out.  We’ll be carrying an EPIRB, an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, that will send our position to the coast guard if our ship goes down.

I’ll also be wearing a small personal GPS devise known as a MOB, short for Man Over Board.  If I accidentally get washed over the side, this devise will send an alert our boat, and the boats around me, of my position so they can come back to pick me up if they want to.

YB trackerFinally, every boat racing in this year’s Pacific Cup race will also be carrying a GPS devise called a “Yellow Brick” named for its distinct size and color.  The Yellow Brick will constantly send our location, speed and heading back to a website maintained by the race committee on shore so that they, and anyone wishing to follow our race progress, can do so from the website www.ybtracking.com

Over the past 5 decades the world has seen tremendous advancements in so many aspects of our lives, the Global Positioning System is just one of them.  But regardless of technology, we will still have to rely a combination of good luck, fair winds, and our over 200 years of collective racing experience as we race across the Pacific.

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