Sometimes a random act of kindness can really knock your socks off. Ed Stewart, who was previously mentioned on this site as a crew member who helped move Cream Puff from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Petersburg, recently knocked my socks off. Ed called up out of the blue and wanted to know if I was going to be around for a few days as he was planning on sending me something. He said it was a small package that he did not want to sit outside. My curiosity was indeed perked but I refrained from asking what he was sending because I like surprises. In fact, I love pleasant surprises. This is something Cindy taught me of the years. She is a huge fan of Christmas. I was never much of a Christmas person. But, over time she has changed me to appreciate gift giving (and receiving). Cindy is always doing little random acts of kindness for other people and not just at Christmas. She does it all the time. It is part of her nature and something I have long admired. Cindy will often see something that someone she knows might enjoy and she will get it for them.
A few days later a package arrived. When I opened it, I was taken aback. Ed sent us a sextant and a publication of The American Practical Navigator: Bowditch. The note from Ed said he had these in his basement and thought we could put them to good use. We absolutely will.
It has been years since I used a sextant. The last was when I crewed on a boat called Kaliga West. I was able to place us within 45 miles of our GPS coordinates. Believe it or not, that’s darn good!
If you are unfamiliar with Nathaniel Bowditch (March 26, 1773 – March 16, 1838), click here for a good read and a link to his bio in Wikipedia. Bowditch was a self taught mathematical genius who never went to college. At age 16, he taught himself advanced calculus. He found huge errors in, what was at the time, the navigation standard tables for ships. He took the complexity of navigation and rewrote it so even the ships cook could plot a position. His theories are still in use today. He is considered one of the greatest attributes to navigation.
Thanks Ed for the perfect boat warming gift!