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.
Navigation—Knowing Where It’s At
There are endless posts and comments on the internet about the latest cool electronic gadgets to help us navigate. But will acquiring all this expensive stuff make you a navigator who is competent and safe to go voyaging? No, not unless you also grasp the fundamentals of understanding where you are. In this Online Book Colin, Phyllis and John share the fruits of a combined century of navigation, much of it before electronic gadgets, and then relate that experience to modern electronic navigation.
Table of Contents:
So what is it specifically that we do to make sure “we know where it’s at” while cruising some of the world’s more remote places on Morgan’s Cloud, our 56-foot aluminum McCurdy and Rhodes cutter? First, our primary navigation area is on deck. There is no way that we can be properly aware of our [...]
A quick read with a quick tip that will make us all better navigators and safer users of weather forecasts.
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 [...]
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 [...]
On Morgan’s Cloud we don’t hand steer much: approaching and leaving a wharf, anchoring and hauling the anchor, transiting an intricate channel, or in the presence of a lot of other boat traffic; that’s about it. We find that by using our autopilot we are left with more time and focus to navigate, keep a [...]
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 [...]
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.
Pretty near all of us are now using electronic navigation systems, that's a given, but can you safely dispense with paper charts altogether?
For many navigators the idea of going to sea without any paper charts aboard at all is pure heresy. But is that really true? Are we just hanging on to paper charts because we are stuck in our ways? Is there a viable all electronic backup?
John answers a member's question on what is the best sextant to buy and then looks at whether or not we voyagers even need one at all.
Pretty much all of us rely on GPS, but have you every wondered how the thing actually works? Matt has the answers, and they are fascinating.