I love navigating, whether by stars, chart or GPS. Usually, on a voyage we navigate via GPS but back-up this wonderful device with good old chart work. On occasion we do sun-sights too.
Here are many diagrams on good navigation skills. Both recreationally and commercially, Noel and I have used every single one of these methods.
Parallel indexing in fog
DR when the GPS has lost its signal (or as back-up)
Set and drift when heading to GPS co-ordinates, on an urgent rescue
A few years ago I was a skipper on different ships in Papua New Guinea (Noel had his own-different-ship), with thirteen local men as crew. The charts were out of date, there were chart errors* and GPS errors. I HAD to rely on my navigation skills. This wasn’t easy, I was in new ports, fast currents, narrow channels and a boat with its controls labelled in Japanese (plus 300 passengers).
Coupled with all this fun, some of the boats were air-started… use too many forward and astern manoeuvres when docking (on a busy commercial wharf), and you run out of air, run out of….. engine!
I was told today that I don’t have enough skills to be a trainer – which is my job in Australia. Assumptions were made after reading my blog. So I’m giving myself a shout-out today.
I am proud of my skills, they have been earned. I’ve not only been a commercial skipper on the high-seas, but busy inland waterways and canals too. As a commercial skipper (up to 80 metres) I have had, not only, to sit tough exams (written and verbal and practical), to gain my tickets, I have to prove my commercial sea-time and prove my skills and experience by signed reports by Captains of a higher level. My qualifications were only granted after the assessments were done and, in some cases, years of sea-time had to documented.
So, yes, this is a shout out for me! …and…
By the by, combining Noel’s experience with mine, both recreational and commercial, into a book isn’t easy (it’s a big book) – but it is amazing value at $4.99! – more pictures here and here. Plus another great resource here.
- Cruisers’ AA contains details on all the errors that can occur, and how to deal with them – some may well surprise you!