Jump to content



Recommended Posts

Way to go, Nomad!

A couple of us know who this guy is, and got the details of his float plan before he set out, and pictures of his trip on his return. And though it's tough to openly approve of his poach-camping like this, and of his paddling this far alone, Bravo nonetheless!

I'd always wondered what it'd be like to paddle those Vineyard Sound distances with the ebbing and flowing tides, and to me this trip report was as informative as making the trip turns out to have been a well-executed risk.

So where next, Nomad? You going to make those trips to Tuckernuck and to Muskeget?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Koop, I guess you'll have to paddle out there yourself to see what this guy was talking about, cause I sure wasn't there. But he's got no reason to make it up. Why would he?

Anyhow, he's a good guy, and no need to bust on him for possibly getting some facts wrong. Maybe the moonlight got to him out there.

But let's just hope Old Nomad doesn't go R.I.P, because I for one sure enjoy his trip reports.

And the pictures he's sent have been quite nice to look at.

Jeeesh, don't be such a grumpy seabass!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

THE trip report. while nomad is as welcome as any to the fold, he has only been a member since 10/30...which as far as i can tell is a day prior to the post....so if "old nomad" has posted other stories, they are under a different member name/another pseudonym...we never did figure out who thomperman was, did we?

if you can think of any other reports where there were some factual inconsistencies/errors (perhaps poetic license more than a navigational error and even if so a nav mistake is easy enough to make, even for someone skilled in nav, yeah?) and maybe we can figure it. deduction dear watson, deduction....to what do the clues point?

on the other hand...who cares? like moby dick, it's a nice enough story and certainly anyone who'd consider such a paddle would do the actual plotting of the course and figuring for themselve and not trust old nomad or anyone else to have lain the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Noman's Land was and most likely is frequently visited by teenagers from Martha's Vineyard. A college friend of mine who summered there in the days when testosterone often overruled good judgement went there for bacchanalian days/nights and/or romantic trysts. Should you question this fellow, I'll tell you he now maintains two abutting homes on the island, one for his sister with special needs. Though the equal of Melankomas of Caria, whom it was said "noone, either woman or man, had eyes for anyone else", he has always had little cause to exaggerate his past.

I also enjoy such reports, considering trips to remote locations perhaps the sole purpose of kayaking. Whether a work of fact or fiction, it is suitably replete with historic information. Perhaps it is the season of "Trick or Treat" that inspires such mistrust. Does the website need a fact-checking conference?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it's not mistrust...they're questions.

a coupla things didn't/don't make sense. statements akin to saying "okay, i can see the prudential bulding from des moines iowa on a clear day" or "the sox are going to sweep the national league offering 4 zip to win the world series"

you are naturally going to asked be asked "huh"?

the board is about communication, education a little sense of community....i don't see the mistrust part you're talking about and that ancient greek reference....yeah, do you OWN a tv?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really, I didn't write this. I've posted before as Thomperman, blended stories sometimes to write individual trip reports under my true name, but I didn't pull off this one. For one, it lacks my hyperbole. But I'm flattered that some might think I wrote this. But honest, I didn't.

It was written in fact by a guy I paddle with who lives down on the South Shore. He's a recent enthusiast and member of the club who happens to have lots of time on his hands and even more enthusiasm. If I can, I'll try to convince him to post his pictures.

Thing of it is, because he was out there paddling around with dubious jugement around going solo (who hasn't taken solo risks?), and was also poach-camping (another highly un-p.c. issue), one can't blame the guy for wanting to remain masked. Yet you can probably also understand his delight in what he accomplished.

I didn't write this report. Honest Injun'. Because if I had, I'd have tried to sell it.

Anyways, I too had a couple questions about some of the stuff he saw out there and which on first-read seemed to be simple errors of fact.

So watch the regular message board for my take on what he actually saw out there, and feel free to chime in. If nothing else the discussion will be informative..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken: I'm guessing that he was seeing the rotating beacons at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket airports. These beacons can typically be seen for 40 miles and, unlike the focused horizontal beam of a lighthouse, the airport beacons are made to be seen by pilots, so would be visible well above the horizon.

Just a guess.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

>it's not mistrust...they're questions.

From my perspective the purpose of "Trip Reports" is to communicate one's adventures and inspire others to follow or take similar steps. I expect congratulatory comments like "great job" and critical comments to directly serve the paddling community where, in this case, a good example would be "noone should do this without a chart". I find questions of whether this was real or imaginary falling under neither category and sounding like mistrust.

>...that ancient greek reference....yeah, do you OWN a tv?

TV yes. Cable no. The greek reference is to a man so attractive as to demand the attention of men and women alike. Such a fellow usually has enough real exploits not to be given to exaggeration or prevarication. In this case he is also one awesome human being therefore being all the more inscrutable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


There are many reasons for trip reports. One is to inspire but I believe that the more important reason is to educate. The original trip reports started as a means of working through issues that came up. People would discuss alternative means of handling difficult situations that arose on the water. Go back and read the old ones - they are an education.

People can also read the trip reports and use them as a starting point on planning their own trips.

The danger in posting inaccurate navigational information is that it is misleading. People read what NOMAN has written and may expect to be able to find the same when they recreate the trip. The flaws or inaccuracies that were pointed out are basic tenents of navigation. Things such as how far can you see an object that is a particular distance off the water when you are 2.5' off the water. Inaccuracies like that need to be pointed out. Ability to see particular places from a given point are knowns - not up to poetic license.

If NOMAN didn't REALLY see what he says he saw, perhaps there should be some sort of disclaimer on the trip report that says that it is really a story about a trip and not an actual trip report with accurate information.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

>Just let it go. He was sitting on the beach when he saw his

>collection of lights...a 10' or 20' sand dune works wonders

>for extending your horizon.


Assuming that the subject was sitting atop a 20' sand dune, their horizon over water would be sqiare root of (20+2.5) < 5 nm. Is this correct or at least close given minimal atmospheric effect?

The math around this issue caught my eye so I looked up the info about MV Airport (11+ nm NE of Noman's) and found it's elevation to be 67'. Two feet higher than the Cape Poge light which is some 7 or 8 nm further away. Certainly it's possible that atmospheric conditions were such that one could see well beyond the typical horizon on that night but I find the probabiltiy to be able to see "over" MV's height to see the (2' lower and 7+ nm further away) Cape Poge Light a bit of a reach in any realistic sense. Much more likely is that the author saw the beacons at MV Airport. But I don't see how they could be confused for Cape Poge Light (with it's 6s flash) except with some really wishful thinking.

At any rate I don't believe that this thread is at all about mathematical inaccuracy but rather about the use of literary license versus the expectations of technical accuracy that many have clearly grown to expect from these things we call "trip reports". Had this account been posted to a writing club then I doubt few would have taken issue with the math, since embellishments via artistic license would not have been uncommon. But this is not a writing club, this is a paddling related message board and the difference between fact and fiction clearly matters to some of the people that have responded to this thread. That we both understand the physics that allows for the possibility of extended horizons given the right atmospheric conditions does not mean that those conditions existed on that night or that the author of this "report" did not embellished his observations for artistic purposes.

Why would we want to discourage people from expressing their differences of opinion? Do we think that an opinion not expressed is the same thing as harmony? Let people discuss what interest them. If it doesn't interest you or I then we can choose to ignore the discussion, as we both often do.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, if it's as factually inaccurate as some suggest, I doubt it would pass muster in a writing club either.

If an author wanted artistic license, they would write about a fictional place, maybe one a lot like a real place, and be free to imagine the details. This is pretty common. But when writing about a specific actual place (or thing or historical event), a writer usually wants to get the details right, even to the point of researching them.

A writer might violate this principle for specific literary reasons, like parody, irony, portrayal of hallucination, etc. But that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Of course, I'm still confused about what's really true here. Do I have to paddle out there myself to find out? Maybe we should send an NSPN fact-finding expedition. Might be a nice paddle!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

...and probably making incorrect assumptions. It seems highly unlikely that these errors were put in the story intentionally (for artistic or other any other reasons), but were simply mistakes. The author reported what he thought he saw, nothing more. Chock it up to human fallibility. While it would be worthwhile to correct the errors for anyone interesting in making the same trip, getting in a big philosophical debate over them seems rather pointless.

I hope Noman is having a good laugh at all of this. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>...and probably making incorrect assumptions. It seems

>highly unlikely that these errors were put in the story

>intentionally (for artistic or other any other reasons), but

>were simply mistakes. ...

Of course. We're just having a little fun at the expense of Adam and (anonymously) Nomad. But It would be nice to hear directly from her/him.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...