Online Book: Navigation—Knowing Where It's At, Chapter 5 of 12

Separation and Redundancy


Finding a home for all our provisions before heading off on a cruise is always a challenge since I tend to overstock on the basis that we will use everything up in the end but running out of something vital in some out of the way place would really inhale. So, as always, there was [...]

Save Our Lighthouses

The lighthouse at Andenes, Norway.

I can’t imagine that there are many sailors out there who don’t share John’s and my fascination with lighthouses—walking around them, climbing them, photographing them, reading about what it was like to take care of them—we don’t seem to tire of it. However, in Canada, the USA and the UK, and I’m sure in other [...]

Online Book: Navigation—Knowing Where It's At, Chapter 8 of 12

Navigation System—Plotter Or Computer?

Dell computer

John looks at the question of whether to install a dedicated plotter or a computer for electronic navigation, and continues with a description of what he did install and how it has worked out. John is an electronics technician by trade and has spent some 30 years in the computer business, so this is information from an expert in both the technology and its use in real world navigation.

Online Book: Navigation—Knowing Where It's At, Chapter 4 of 12

Electronic Charting Dangers

Aluminum expedition sailboat Morgan's Cloud aground in the Bahamas.

Although we are not Luddites bemoaning the take over of electronics and warning of the dire consequence of over reliance on them, we are aware of several dangers in their exclusive use: First off in the list of potential gotchas is the use of the electronic log features that we increasingly see included in navigation [...]

Online Book: Navigation—Knowing Where It's At, Chapter 1 of 12

Knowing Where It’s At

This retired fisherman and lifeboat coxswain from Clarks Harbour, Nova Scotia, is not the hero of my story, but I bet he could pull off the same trick.

We start this book by looking at the most important aspect of good and safe navigation. More important than fancy electronics. More important than paper charts. More important than radar. Situation awareness—knowing where you are at all times.

Online Book: Navigation—Knowing Where It's At, Chapter 7 of 12

It Ain’t Necessarily So

Channel marker, Arisaig, West Highlands.

In these days of hyper-accurate GPS navigation and deck mounted plotters, it can sometimes seem like navigation has been reduced to no more than a video game. And it sometimes seems that more and more people are implicitly trusting what they see on a screen, having never known the nervous twitch that accompanied entering a [...]