GPS On A Cruise Ship

 

My family and I will be going on a Caribbean cruise in a couple of months. I am thinking of bringing a GPS along just to see where we are and how fast we are traveling. Will it work aboard the ship or will other electronics cause interference to it?

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should be fine...

But might not have much map detail... Maybe you could find Garmin compatible maps covering the palaces the ship will stop at...

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Bring it (dont forget charger)

I have cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean and they both have a dedicated channel in the room TV displaying current location, direction and speed.

Many Garmin like my 2460 have maps that include Puerto Rico with turn by turn directions and Nassau in the Bahamas so you can navigate the same as if you were in the states.

St. Thomas, Philisburg and other islands you will see the basemap with the streets but no turn by turn.

As you go by near Cuba the basemap will show the name of the nearest towns.

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Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7 - Toyota Entune NAV

.

Remember to use Pedestrian mode while at sea.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

handheld

I took my handheld when we went on our cruise and when we would pull into a port I would use it to see how far we were from home and also used it a couple of times to check our speed. I would take it to the top deck right outside the pilot house and had no problem with any type of interference. I also had the opportunity to meet the captain and BS with him about navigation when he spotted me using it.

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

Pedestrian mode at sea?

Just curious, why this mode at sea?

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Michael J. Moonitz Massapequa, NY C340, N650, N660, N1490T, N2797 LMT, NuviCam

Good question

I'm not sure it matters a whole lot of you're only interested in seeing your location relative to the map features available in your mapset and tracking the ship's speed.

Pedestrian mode, at least on my unit, calculates routes differently; utilizing known paths through parks for example and estimating arrival time to a destination based on walking speed. Have to assume pedestrian mode wouldn't ever prompt you to make a u-turn, but would assume you could j-walk across a divided street. Calculating a route at sea may be unpredictable, I never tried it.

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"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

at sea

You will see location in this same way like you see it flying over ocean on plane. That means position marker on empty space. Routing in car mode may work or not, depends on routing software. You can either get info that there is no route to destination or that you have to get to some point to start routing.

If you want to get fix you probably will need to get on open deck, as GPS will not work through steel walls. Unless you have panoramic windows with a lot of sky view in you cabin.

Generally what you can see is distance to some point on land, unless you buy marine maps and your GPS can work with them. If you set GPS to "off road" you will get heading and distance (in straight line) to destination if you will set one.

In all, if you keep GPS receiving signal for long enough during cruse, you can later load tracks (if your GPS is recording them) to see your route. But it's much harder to obtain than in airplane, as it will be a few days on ship instead a few hours on airplane.

power

Jim1348 wrote:

Will it work aboard the ship or will other electronics cause interference to it?

I have taken a GPS on three or four ships, but in all cases they were a handheld model which use AA batteries for which I took along a charger that plugged into the regular power socket.

Depending on your model of GPS, you might be able to get recharging by plugging USB cable into some USB compatible charger you take along, your laptop, or maybe even a port provided in your ship stateroom.

I have never seen a hint of difficulty from ships electronics interference, but seeing enough satellites can be a problem. The signals only propagate through an infinitesimal amount of metal, so you either need to be topside, or quite close to a window and lucky enough to have at least four satellites visible through that window.

As to maps, you might look around for some options. On a trip around South America on a ship I loaded up Garmin blue charts. In one major stretch along the Chilean coast, there apparently was a large datum adjustment error, as my Garmin displayed the ship merrily proceeding a couple of hundred yards away from the actual water channel. Amusingly enough, the ship's "where you are" channel on the stateroom TV showed exactly the same error. Obviously the charts they used for actual navigation were right, or someone on the bridge was really looking out the window.

BlueCharts was expensive per area covered, and not really very good for my purpose. If you have the patience to work out how to acquire and use free maps from Open Street Maps on your unit that may be a much better solution.

I actually found the GPS most useful ashore. I always knew I could get back to the dock, or the last bus dropoff, or such. None of that is dependent on having a map loaded (I've been doing this since way before any handheld GPS offered map data).

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personal GPS user since 1992

Unless

Unless you have a route entered you don't need to change the Nuvi mode of route calculation while at sea. If you enter a route, I've seen the Nuvi continually try to calculate a route over and over again with no sucess when your on the water and it's attempting to use roads in the map data.

To answer the OP's question, the GPS will work fine on the ship as far as finding your current location and speed is concerned. Depending on your distance from land you may see a lot of blue and not much else on the screen however. grin

We just returned from a Panama Canal cruise (San Diego to Miami) and used the GPS on most days. Our only issue with Sat. reception was that our balcony room had a roof over it that blocked the signal. Moving to an open area on the ship allowed for a strong sat. lock however.

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Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

Marine Traffic

Speaking of GPS on ships, here's a very neat website that as you scan down using the mouse scroll wheel, you can see various vessels, from cruise ships to tankers, RORO car haulers (Roll on, roll off) etc. If you hover over a ship icon you'll get location information, heading, speed and in alot of cases pictures of that vessel. Perhaps a family member would like to keep tabs on the ships location while you're enjoying the cruise.

http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/home

Not Nearly as Much Fun

Not nearly as much fun as using GPS on an aircraft. Nothing moves very fast at ship speeds, but with aircraft you can see the track taken across vast expanses of continents or oceans.

Fred

GPS on Cruise

I took my Handheld Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx on a couple of cruises.

That model is really a Marine model and I had the charts loaded for the areas we were going to, as well as the road maps.

I thought it was really neat to be able to see the channels and depths of the water and know exactly where we were while in transit.

I would think the GPS would

I would think the GPS would not be legal to use on a plane unless the rules have changed. That would be interesting to see in action.

@djlordv: it's not

GPS is "legal" to use on airplane for over 5 years already. In theory you shouldn't use it during takeoff and landing. It's polite to ask pilot (via stewardess) if it's ok to use it, but so far every time I got answer: "if it's passive device you can use it".

About using GPS on plane. The only interesting thing about it is speed meter. It's nice to see max speed over 1000 km/h sometimes. Otherwise it's same like current location displayed on planes video system. One more nice thing is that you can load track (if your GPS records them) into computer and see over big map where you were flying.

GPS on a day cruise

I used my old handheld on our cruise out to Fort Jefferson from Key West. My camera has the time synced with the GPS track. I could geo-tag my pics of marine life along the way.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

I had a lot of fun...

With GPS on a cruise last summer -- according to the Polar Beat app on my iPhone, when I was running one night on deck, I was doing sub-4 minute miles, and my pulse never got over 140!

Not a lot of map detail in the Mediterranean, more useful as we approached Corsica, and of course close to the coast.

Having GPS location EXIF data with the camera is nice as well (some things don't set the time zone automagically, though).

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

Mine Worked On A Plane

Jim1348 wrote:

My family and I will be going on a Caribbean cruise in a couple of months. I am thinking of bringing a GPS along just to see where we are and how fast we are traveling. Will it work aboard the ship or will other electronics cause interference to it?

Mine worked on a plane and there's as much electronics there. I was also on an aisle seat, not near the window.

I can't see any reason why it wouldn't, as long as you're near a window or out on deck.

Depending where you're going, you might find you can get the North American Maps and many of the islands as part of the normal map update. Mine had many of the islands, but since I wasn't going outside NA, I only download the USA & Canada Maps.

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NUVI2555LMT, NUVI350

Didn't work

Jim1348 wrote:

My family and I will be going on a Caribbean cruise in a couple of months. I am thinking of bringing a GPS along just to see where we are and how fast we are traveling. Will it work aboard the ship or will other electronics cause interference to it?

Tried it. Didn't work. According to Garmin, this was likely due to my "impatience." The GPS needs several minutes to get a position lock. Makes me wonder if I would have had better luck if I turned on my GPS shortly after boarding the ship.

That said... if you want to know where you are, just tune the TV in your room to the appropriate channel.

.

beagle.fan wrote:

Tried it. Didn't work. According to Garmin, this was likely due to my "impatience." The GPS needs several minutes to get a position lock. Makes me wonder if I would have had better luck if I turned on my GPS shortly after boarding the ship.

The answer to that is yes, especially if you had let it acquire before the ship started moving. If a GPS is moved a great distance from the last time it was shut down, it will take longer to acquire. Also, it is more difficult to get a lock while you are moving.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Pedestrian mode

mmoonitz wrote:

Just curious, why this mode at sea?

...arrrrrgh, 'cause ye be walkin' the plank, ya scurvy dog!

What, it's not Talk Like A Pirate Day? NM.

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JMoo On

What a cool idea

What a cool idea to take a GPS out on a cruise! I have never thought of this before, and now I want to try it, too.

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nightrider --Nuvi's 660 & 680--

Marine Traffic Map...

Thanks "Prof"...

Your "MT" link was cool

Nuvi1300WTGPS

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I'm not really lost.... just temporarily misplaced!

Car

dagarmin wrote:
mmoonitz wrote:

Just curious, why this mode at sea?

...arrrrrgh, 'cause ye be walkin' the plank, ya scurvy dog!

What, it's not Talk Like A Pirate Day? NM.

Plus they won't let you bring your car aboard.

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

Shouldn't

GPSgeek wrote:

Depending where you're going, you might find you can get the North American Maps and many of the islands as part of the normal map update. Mine had many of the islands, but since I wasn't going outside NA, I only download the USA & Canada Maps.

Shouldn't matter where your going as the built in Basemap will take over if your outside a region covered by the City Navigator maps you have installed on your Nuvi. Only major roads and cities maybe shown and routing may not be possible, using these maps but from a ship you'll be able to keep track of where you are.

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Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

You Bet !!!

You're very welcome, I found that website very interesting, you can even zoom in on boats and tugs on the various river systems in the US and elsewhere. Have fun !

I have had success on a cruise in the Caribbean

I have brought my GPS several times on cruises in the Caribbean and they always have worked. It required being on balcony in most cases. The level of detail was not very good when I first used it but the new Garmin maps have included many of the places I visited.

I enjoyed just seeing the latitude and longitude extremes of the trip. It also let me know when there was an island to look at on the other side of the ship. Early in the morning before a port day it was fun to see how far away we were from port, and the names of the surrounding islands.

If you want to get more detail outside your normal region you can go to:
http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl
and create your own additional map file to add to the existing map. This requires some computer skill. Instructions can be found elsewhere in the POI Factory.

--
Brent - DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S

How long?

alandb wrote:

The answer to that is yes, especially if you had let it acquire before the ship started moving. If a GPS is moved a great distance from the last time it was shut down, it will take longer to acquire. Also, it is more difficult to get a lock while you are moving.

Confused. It has been a while, but I have tried this in an airplane flying at 500-600mph, and the GPS had no problem figuring out where I was, even with the device being off for 1000 miles or so. In contrast, the maximum distance between cruise ship and car was on the order of 300 miles going at maybe 20mph.

Similarly

I have turned my unit on after sitting in my driveway for about 24 hours and it took forever to get a satellite lock. It didn't move a foot, and 24 hours shouldn't be long enough for the unit to have to reset it's satellite data... No rhyme or reason...

--
Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

near a truck route?

camerabob wrote:

I have turned my unit on after sitting in my driveway for about 24 hours and it took forever to get a satellite lock. It didn't move a foot, and 24 hours shouldn't be long enough for the unit to have to reset it's satellite data... No rhyme or reason...

If you are near a truck route you could have one nearby with a jammer operating. Even though they are illegal to operate (and to import) they can be obtained fairly easily. Some are quite powerful and jam the GPS frequencies for miles around.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

Off Topic

We checked into a motel on east side of Danville IL. That evening I wanted to enter a few waypoints for the following day. No satellite lock even while next to window.
The next morning I placed the 1490 on the dash while we finished loading up. No signal lock until we were up on the Interstate.
The reason? The Danville prison is about a 1/4 mile away from the motel. There were sensors mounted on poles in the otherwise empty field. I can't even guess what kind of sensors were present.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

key word: longer

beagle.fan wrote:

Confused. It has been a while, but I have tried this in an airplane flying at 500-600mph, and the GPS had no problem figuring out where I was, even with the device being off for 1000 miles or so. In contrast, the maximum distance between cruise ship and car was on the order of 300 miles going at maybe 20mph.

That's some misunderstanding. What alandb said means that it will take longer to obtain fix if device was moved far away when turned off. For example: if you are in New York and turn off and on GPS it will be ready to navigate as soon as it gets fix from 4 satellites. Maybe 1 minute or less. But if you turn it off in New York and then on in San Francisco it may take it even 20-30 min to get ready to navigate, even if GPS see 10 satellites.

If you move GPS great distance from last fix and turn it on, it will need to load from satellites new manifest file with info, that is used by GPS to calculate its current position. Because transmission is slow and can get interrupted sometimes it may take much longer than usual before GPS wil be ready to calculate route for you.

Other thing is moving and turning GPS on. It usually extends time, till GPS can calculate routes. It has to do with signal stability when GPS is moving. But once GPS gets its position it will track regardless of speed, as long, as it has good enough connection with at leas 4 satellites.

strange

spokybob wrote:

We checked into a motel on east side of Danville IL. That evening I wanted to enter a few waypoints for the following day. No satellite lock even while next to window.
The next morning I placed the 1490 on the dash while we finished loading up. No signal lock until we were up on the Interstate.
The reason? The Danville prison is about a 1/4 mile away from the motel. There were sensors mounted on poles in the otherwise empty field. I can't even guess what kind of sensors were present.

I don't think it got anything to do with prison. I was driving few times by prison in Joliet, IL. and never had this problem. And route is going along prison outer fence, right next to it. They got sensors, but i don't thing it will be to kill GPS signal. There is no reason to do so, as you can see prison from public street. Maybe your GPS had one of "those days" and that's why it had problems with getting signal?

Smart phone GPS on ship

Wouldn't the GPS on phone be better than dedicated GPS on a cruise?

Smart Phone GPS On A Cruise Ship

sl4gps61 wrote:

Wouldn't the GPS on phone be better than dedicated GPS on a cruise?

Well, that is what I thought two years ago when I brought my Garminfone with. However, it acted erratically, while we were at sea. I suspect that it may have h ad something to do with the ships radar and/or other electronics, but I have no way to prove that. This time I would be inclined to simply bring with my Nexus 4 and try the Navigon or TomTom application.

If I had lots of money I might spring for some Garmin RINO units. That way I could use the two way radio for keeping in touch with other family members AND have GPS on the same device!

yadayadaydadaada

yadayadaydadaada

--
nuvi 250 --> 1250T --> 265T Lost my 1250T

another gadget

IMO (TDCFMAH) a more usefull gadget to bring aboard besides the car GPS is a compact GMRS/FRS Radio, great for fetching your significant other when he/she/it is in the other end of the boat or down a few levels.

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7 - Toyota Entune NAV

GPS On A Cruise Ship/Another Gadget

flaco wrote:

IMO (TDCFMAH) a more usefull gadget to bring aboard besides the car GPS is a compact GMRS/FRS Radio, great for fetching your significant other when he/she/it is in the other end of the boat or down a few levels.

Well, funny you should mention that. Two years ago I brought along my old Nextel units. That have the off-network Direct Talk. They worked pretty well, but there were times that we were out-of-range of one another. There are four of us going, but only three of my Nextels worked two years ago. So, as a result, I am trying to determine what we will do in March. I might buy another used Nextel. Or, if I can find one at reasonable price, I might buy a Motorola R765, since they would work with Nextel Direct Talk. I have even considered the Motorola DTR550/650 units. They are a full one watt and should have better range than the Nextels.

I have sort of avoided the FRS/GMRS because they are so common and may get a lot of interference from other users. I suppose if money were no object, I could get some Garmin RINO units and have BOTH GPS AND FRS/GMRS radio in one device!

By the way, what is TDCFMAH?

communication is a time saver

There are reasons to avoid GMRS/FRS radios but interference from other users is not one of them, I bought a pair of Midland LXT600 for $36 (on SALE at Amazon) for our last cruise and had no problems aboard or in the islands.

On the FRS channels 8-14 the units are limited to low power (½ watt), on the GMRS channels 1-7 and 15-36 you set what they call high power (1 watt)

On the LXT600 and most other bubble pack radios you can set “Privacy” codes on channels 1-22, there are 38 CTCSS Privacy Codes and 83 DCS Privacy Codes

The way the so called “Privacy” codes work is kind of misleading but to me is what makes them useful, you pick the channel you want to use from 1 to 22 then pick one code from the 121 CTSS/DCS codes available, once you have your radios set to that channel and a code you will only hear people on that channel using that specific code so potentially your 36 channel radio has now become 22x121=2662+15 for a total of 2677 channels, doubt that so many people aboard have a radio or that you can’t block other people conversation with 2662 combinations at your disposal.

Now for the misleading part of the “Privacy”, for example if you set your radios to channel 2 DCS 116 your radios will be able to monitor and talk to each other but anyone else who has their radio set to channel 2 will be able to hear your conversation but can not reply to you unless they set the DCS to 116, this feature is what makes interference from others practically nil.

IMO the Garmin RINO are overprized and a overkill for the cruise, lets say you are on the top deck and your other radio is 5 decks below but in the same LAT/LONG how will having a GPS help you locate the other person?

With light use and continuously monitoring I get 48 HRS of the rechargeable batteries, if you keep an eye Amazon is always running sales on the GMRS/FRS bubble pack radios.

Don’t believe the hype, in town you are lucky to get 2 miles, you may get what mfg claims from the top of one mountain to the top of another, no obstructions.

IMO (TDCFMAH) I was been fastidious

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Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7 - Toyota Entune NAV

Took mine

Took both my nüvi 760 and GPAMAP 78s when traveling to Alaska and Hawaii. I used the 78s for geocaching in port and the 760 for driving directions when I rented cars in all the Hawaiian ports.

They really aren't too exciting while at sea although you can use them to see exactly how far you are from the next port.

--
GPSMAP 76CSx - nüvi 760 - nüvi 200 - GPSMAP 78S

GPS Jamming?

I have a few ideas, but why would someone find a GPS jamming device useful? Is that so that the truckers will not be tracked by the owners of the vehicles when they pull off on the side of the road or at a truck stop?

Box Car wrote:

If you are near a truck route you could have one nearby with a jammer operating. Even though they are illegal to operate (and to import) they can be obtained fairly easily. Some are quite powerful and jam the GPS frequencies for miles around.

--
Maps -> Wife -> Garmin 12XL -> StreetPilot 2610 -> Nuvi 660 (blown speaker) -> Nuvi 3790LMT

I would think

That if you used a GPS on a ship, you would see a lot of blue.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

GPS on cruise

I used my Garmin Nuvi on a cruise to Alaska. I could follow where we were, how far we were from our next port, and how fast we were going.

I also used it to find my way around ports.

Speed

grzesja wrote:

That's some misunderstanding. What alandb said means that it will take longer to obtain fix if device was moved far away when turned off. For example: if you are in New York and turn off and on GPS it will be ready to navigate as soon as it gets fix from 4 satellites. Maybe 1 minute or less. But if you turn it off in New York and then on in San Francisco it may take it even 20-30 min to get ready to navigate, even if GPS see 10 satellites.

If you move GPS great distance from last fix and turn it on, it will need to load from satellites new manifest file with info, that is used by GPS to calculate its current position. Because transmission is slow and can get interrupted sometimes it may take much longer than usual before GPS wil be ready to calculate route for you.

Other thing is moving and turning GPS on. It usually extends time, till GPS can calculate routes. It has to do with signal stability when GPS is moving. But once GPS gets its position it will track regardless of speed, as long, as it has good enough connection with at leas 4 satellites.

Wouldn't a plane by definition move a greater distance than a cruise ship? Top speed on a cruise ship is on the order of 20mph. Once airborne, a plane goes at least 10-20x faster.

Make sure to bring a waterproof bag

That way if the ship goes down you can use your GPS to swim to shore!

nahh

windwalker wrote:

That way if the ship goes down you can use your GPS to swim to shore!

The battery would die before then.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

not mine

Box Car wrote:
windwalker wrote:

That way if the ship goes down you can use your GPS to swim to shore!

The battery would die before then.

My cruise ship GPS is an eTrex which would run over 20 hours on freshly charge NiMH batteries, and at least several hours with the charge as low as I normally let it get.

I can't swim nearly that long. Of course, with a life preserver and really warm water I could stay afloat for longer than that, but no point leaving the GPS turned on non-stop in that case either. In the Baltic or such, I'd probably be dead of exposure before the battery died, as I don't think cruise ships stock exposure suits for passengers.

A more likely use would be helping a lifeboat navigate, which definitely could happen.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

how fast

Box Car wrote:
windwalker wrote:

That way if the ship goes down you can use your GPS to swim to shore!

The battery would die before then.

Depends on how far offshore you are and how fast you can swim.

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

I know we all love a GPS, but....

You're a cruise! I can see if you need it when you're off the ship, but when you're on the ship. ENJOY THE BOAT activities and leave the GPS in a secure spot. laugh out loud

Would have never thought of taking my GPS

That being said I am totally happy to get lost on my vacations I turn the phone off no laptops only concern is where my next drink is coming from! you need to shut your brain off every now and then and restart it!

curious

NoMoreTrafficTickets wrote:

You're a cruise! I can see if you need it when you're off the ship, but when you're on the ship. ENJOY THE BOAT activities and leave the GPS in a secure spot. laugh out loud

Some people are curious and some are not. When we were pulling into each port I spent maybe 15 minutes checking how far we were from home as the crow flies.

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.
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