People who provide content on the internet still use full PCs, keyboards and screens. Users of the internet use handheld devices. Currently, I am feeding three websites. Feeding a website is very much like having a baby to take care of. Besides feeding, there’s the burping, diaper changing, playing and sometimes you look forward to the naps where you can temporarily go do some other things. But then, that website wakes up and needs more attention!
As a member of the US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee, I sat in hotel meeting rooms twice a year in complete awe of the people who sat at the table with me. And the research they described, the experiences they had, I could feel were literally being lost as there was no way to get this information into the public’s hands.
Who sat at the table?
- Stan Honey, inventor of the yellow first down line on the TV in football, and the telemetric bubles in NASCAR, amongst other sports graphics inventions. He also is the world’s top sailboat navigator commonly winning by 40% over the next nearest competitor. I have begged him to write a book about what he does. I’ve also invited him to sail with us so I can see what it is he does.
- John Rousmaniere, who wrote the book Fastnet, Force 10 about the 1979 Fasnet Race in England in which 15 sailors died in hurricane conditions. He also wrote the Annapolis Book of Seamanship. Amongst other books.
- U.S. Navy personnel who lived under “command and control” having documented procedures for everything, who are ferocious about documenting and testing safety procedures. One in particular was U.S. Navy Captain John Bonds, retired. Any time he walked into a room, he instantly took command (with respect from everyone in the room). He was one of the smartest people I ever met. By the book, with a huge scoop of common sense.
- Others included the President of the National Safety Council, Medical doctors, and sailors who have logged transatlantics, transpacifics and around-the-world sails.
Then fifteen years ago, the internet and website software made it easier for do-it-yourselfers, and I volunteered to build the US Sailing Safety at Sea website. Each Committee was asked to provide a volunteer to build their section of the website. I took it seriously and put more content than any other volunteer by a ton. And it worked. We were getting 130,000 readers a year.
Webmasters keep job security by changing the “platforms” (the software that builds the website) every 3 to 5 years. At the 5th year, the webmaster changed the platform. Originally training was provided over the phone, this time, I would have to fly to Arizona and spend two days in training, on my own dime. Nyet comrade. That ended it.
Recently I heard that the platform changed again (the 4th time in 15 years) to the same platform this blog uses. I was already trained. I volunteered to help out again with this Safety at Sea Website. And little by little, changing diaper after diaper, slowly the content is getting put back together and brought up to date.
Last week, the Safety Studies section was put back together. Studies include Anchors, Overboards, Liferafts, Radar, Overboard Lights, Pulpit/Pushpit/Lifeline, Radar Target Enhancer, Lifesling, Harness & Tether, Harbor Ladders, Electricity Along the Shore, High Speed Overboards, and a number of Fatality Incidents.
By educating, the goal is to not repeat history, and make people safer on the water.
You’ll need a big pot of coffee, or a bottle of your favorite libation to take the time to read these experiences. Take a look and expand your mind –
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