The ultimate test of worthiness
No matter how important a man at sea considers himself, unless he is fundamentally worthy, the sea will some day find him out. If a wrong move is made at sea, in a critical moment, death may be the penalty for the most simple failure – not just death to one but to many. Incompetence may prevail on shore, but at sea it sooner or later is ruthlessly uncovered and utter disaster often follows in its wake.
NOTE: This is from the US Coast Guard Officer Candidate School Navigation Syllabus, Fall 1970. In 40 years I have not been able to identify its origin.