“Captain, please come to the bridge. I’m not sure where the border is.”
“WTF? What are you talking about?”
“Captain, I am serious. We’ve had a Ephemeris error. Or a Propagation delay error. Or maybe there are bubbles in the compass. I’m not sure!”
“Are you sure the helmsman didn’t just stay on autopilot too long? You know that is a warning in navigational school!”
Navigator stared at his feet glumly. The Captain tried to determine the underlying problem.
“Are you suffering information overload? Did you become too dependent on the electronic display and neglect your duty to maintain a proper look-out?”
” I don’t think so”, replied the hapless navigator.
The Captain continued, “Morrison has ordered us to go as close as possible. The DGPS is accurate to within 5 metres, but you know that by the time the land station processes all the satellite information we have already passed the location!”
“Maybe there has been a computer error?” the Navigator responded hopefully.
“Possible”, replied the Captain, “Back to basics, then, where is the sextant and the charts?”
The Navigator hunted frantically for the sextant and finally located it under the pile of charts in the bottom drawer.
“Oh, no! The eyepiece is broken!”
The Captain stared out over the vast ocean before him.
“The problem here, son, is this. There is no damn line painted in the ocean!”
And so it was Australia upset Indonesia. Or so Morrison would have us believe.
Is the current Australian mantra, “It’s life, Scott, but not as we know it, not as we know it”?
Nautical terminology stolen from www.geeksoc.org
For overseas readers needing context, Australia strayed into another nation’s territory. In warships. Several times.