Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Phuket, Thailand
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Re: Magnetic Variance
Rarely do I ever hear anyone give a position in anything but lat/long. In Chesapeake Bay people will often say things like "off Lookout Pt" or "a mile east of red 34" but never have i heard anyone give an exact bearing in either true or magnetic. It might be important in theory and yes, I learned to do it like everyone else but it just doesnt come up very often in real life unless you are still firmly in a paper chart only universe. Most of us arent any more.
Sure, it is a good thing to be ready for disaster to strike but do you REALLY keep a dead reckoning going on a long passage when you can simply read off the lat/long whenever you like and write it in the log? I think a lot of folks are piously repeating what their lessons told them was "proper" but which is a lot of work for a less accurate result.
It is a good idea to remember WHY our teachers told us to do all these calculations. It was to know our position with as much accuracy as possible. Again, I can do it, but why would I waste time with that when I have 4 redundant GPS's which will tell me my position with 10ft. accuracy? It is especially pointless when I am hundreds of miles from land and seem to only rarely have a wind fair enough to head directly toward my goal.
when you give a bearing, you normally give it from a known point, just like you just did. Red 34. You see your point, you glance at your compass and give your bearing from in magnetic. Simple.
Part time PADI instructor, part time sailor. Full time having a blast.
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