But that's it! You can be orientated even in stormy weather. The "stop and check" would be like the mariner having to stop their vessel and then ask the storm to calm down a bit so he can get his bearing, lol. The "inner gimbel" allows one to know your direction without having to "stop and check".
Hmmm I'm not sure about this - having sailed in minor storms and read about the great storms. Having led groups of friends MTBing round various parts of the country.
Ever been tumbled around in surf?
Surfers have drowned because they mistook up for down.
Ever been in a strange pine forest on a grey winters day when the light is dropping and you need to get home before dark?
Suddenly you're relying on primitive skills to work out which way is North.
The key message in all these situations is to stop just doing and take stock, evaluate your situation - this requires knowledge, experience and judgement.
Sometimes it's too easy to plough on thinking that "you know" when really you need to check what you know.