Delving into the COSPAS-SARSAT system can quickly have you drowning in alphabet soup.
Governments love acronyms, abbreviations and virtually unknown terminology in general, but bear with me and we’ll spoon through it to reveal a coming improvement that should excite anyone who goes where they might need rescuing.
Fishermen learn the easy way or the hard way that how long a trolling motor battery lasts depends on how competently they charge it. I’d go so far as to say that proper charging can be more important than how well the battery is built and how much you paid for it.
Crossing a bridge over a southern reservoir on a summer night can treat you to a light show that really makes you want to wet a line. When the bite is on and the word is out, the flooded timber can be dotted with enough lights to look like a field of stars.
Every now and then, as I poke along through life, I’m hit with small blasts of clarity. Usually, it isn’t over anything new, just a clarification of a fuzzy thought that’s been lurking in the back of my mind.
Search and recovery divers were pretty much on their own back in the early 1980’s; I know because I was one of them. I spent 10 years on the Dallas Fire Department’s dive team and worked from the department’s drag boats before the dive team came to be. Fireman Thad Moore, owner of a SCUBA shop in Dallas, thought we could do better for the families of drowning victims than recovering them with drag hooks. He developed a search and recovery class for SCUBA divers, canvassed the department for volunteers and the Dallas Fire Department’s SCUBA Search & Rescue team was born.
“Garbage in, garbage out” was a watchword with computers long before they were integrated into marine electronics. We rarely enter full-blown garbage into our stuff out on the water but expensive problems can stem from not giving some “minor” details the attention they deserve.
Strangely enough, the reservoirs on our nation’s river systems were not originally constructed to give us places to fish; they were built to control traditional spring floods that destroyed crops and homes.
Learning that all batteries are not created equal can be an expensive lesson. Power your trolling motor with batteries designed to start your engine and they will last for weeks rather than years. Buy full-maintenance batteries and treat them like maintenance-free versions and you will be lucky to get a single season out of them.