Letters To The Editor
January 18, 2012 - MidWeek
As Larry Price admits in his column about the “Lostprone Sailor,” Mr. Price doesn’t “know anything about sailing.” This is apparent. He seems to think all you need to do to go from Kaua’i to Oahu in a sailboat is to look at your compass. He apparently doesn’t know that in normal trade winds, Oahu is directly upwind from Kauai. He also must not know that it is impossible to sail directly into the wind. It takes much tacking back and forth to sail such a course.
The 66-year-old Seattle sailor Mr. Price thinks should pay the expenses of his unrequested, unneeded and failed “rescue attempt” by the Coast Guard acted prudently by bearing away from the increasing northeast trade winds and sailing off to the southeast on a safer course that took him to Kona. Since he was planning to continue his voyage to Seattle, Kona was just as good a place as Honolulu to prepare his boat for that trip.
Why does Mr. Price think this sailor should pay, not having requested such a rescue mission, and not having encountered any trouble getting to Kona? If anyone should pay, it should be whomever asked the Coast Guard to intervene.
The real problem, as a Coast Guard officer told me, was they based their search patterns on the assumption that the boat had been de-masted or otherwise suffered equipment failure, and had drifted to the southwest in the strong trades. This resulted in the search being conducted in the wrong area. Meanwhile the sailor was safely, if not comfortably, sailing off to the southeast.
Jack M. Schmidt Jr.
Different situation, I know, but Larry Price’s rant about a supposedly lost sailor from Seattle reminded me of another rant against people with blue eyes from the Mainland. It seems pretty clear he has a strong prejudice against anyone he considers an “outsider.” Where’s the aloha?
Many thanks for the new column by Fareed Zakaria. He is truly an insightful global observer, and we look forward to his column every MidWeek!
Your paper is much the better for it.
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