Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thinking about the sailing and the training

Barefoot Man:

So this is what I had in mind when sailing; The End of the Journey. And Rum, reggae and relaxation.

Before we could actually go anywhere, there would have to be some training.

This is the Royal Yachting Association's recommendations for anyone who would like to go sailing and the costs of the courses, in 1997:

Looked like we had a lot of catching up to do. No wonder most boaters we met in Europe were old as a stump. It takes five years before you can ever become a skipper!

Not really. It does take an investment in time, and the British are vary patient. They are willing to wait and learn properly. That's why they don't understand Yank's.

For instance, besides important stuff like "Rules of the Road", Weather, and Navigation, there are things we need to know like "How to read a Map" (No, no, it's not a Map it's a Chart) and how to mark on the chart. With pencils.

Using this tool. It's called a Portland Plotter in the UK and a Breton Plotter everywhere else;

Here is an example of getting a boat's position by referencing known objects on shore;

What you use is a compass, find a light house or some prominent object. Get your bearing from object, draw a line on your chart. Then check another object, but make sure for accuracy that the second line is at least 90 degrees off of the first line. Usually that would be it. A third line is a luxury, but I find that we have moved so I will wind up with a "Cocked Hat".

Once you get a good position marked, use a circle as the position mark. A circle represents a Fix, which is considered accurate. An "X" will be used to represent a assumed position and may or may not be accurate.

Whenever I mark a fix, I always add Course, Speed in Knots and Time. This way if we lose power anyone can back track to last position and somehow figure out where we are located.

One thing that I had learning about was the physical forces that affect a boat's navigation. FIrst is water. That water is flowing and the flow is usually related to tides. Every six hours the tides will change. Some places are heavily tidal; Like Northern Europe and South Carolina. Others have a tide, but the tide is only a foot or two, Like Jacksonville.

Ahhh, Bach! (Gratuitous M*A*S*H reference)

Here is a look at the tidal effects at Dover:


The wind is another force to consider, like you don't have enough to consider while underway in the English Channel. The winds effect is called "leeway", lee being with the wind. You can estimate your leeway by taking an angle of the wake in relation to the boats forward movement.

By 2200 of those class nights, my brain was going to explode!

Here is an example of a course line and some fixes. Note the circle that says' Avoid this" and notice how my fixes got very close to the avoidance area. The time was 0355 and 0422.

I was seasick and very tired. Two things that lead to piss poor performance and fatalities at sea.

Now, I take this when I am starting a trip:

So far, Cinarizine, the active ingredient in Stugeron is not allowed by the FDA in the United States. But I can get all the weird and creepy drugs that are supposed to make me want to sit in bath tub in an open field, or play "Viva Las Vegas" with my dysfunctional musically talented friends. I feel better, already.

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