Originally Posted by canucksailorguy
Really - is ANY of this necessary for a good day on the water? Does any of it improve or increase safety, or enjoyment?
Hey fellow Canuck. We coastal cruise for five or six weeks at a time in the summer (we too have a short sailing season). We use every source of information available to us to explore and find new places. And, there are times we would be very foolish to move without the technology that is available to us.
That said - if we just go out to our summer mooring on Grand Lake and have a "good day on the water
" - then no, I don't need 95% of it. Heck - on a nice day it is all line of sight - I probably don't need 99% of it.
But going into Mistake Island in thick fog and blowing rain, it is nice to have been able to read reports from others who have done it. It is nice to see the rocks, buoys and other things on the radar and confirm them on the chart plotters.
And, going into Belfast it is nice to be able to call up the current phone number for the town dock on teh chart plotter so my Commodore can phone them and talk about mooring availability.
We have charts (paper and electronic), we have RADAR, AIS, chart plotters, VHF (DSC) and all the other things that we think we need.
We are both "Senior Navigators" with certification and usage with a sextant (which we have but would no more carry on a one month coastal cruise than we would for a "good day on the water" out on the lake.
As for social media, we have made some super friends on SailNet, Active Captain and FaceBook. We have shared meals and moorings, we have been in their homes, on their boats and have had them in and on ours.
Enjoy the way you do it and we'll enjoy the way we do it.
Rik, Linda and Captain Hook