Mechanical pencils, eh? How can you guys complicate things any more? I can think of a dozen ways to sharpen a pencil on a boat or ship. I'm at a loss as to how to fix a rusted or salt encrusted mechanical pencil, or fish the leads out of a dark bilge. But hey, it must work for ya.
I lost track of how many charts I'd cleaned up about a month on my second mate's license. The desirability of a soft lead is that it erases easily, if somewhat messily, and does not imprint the chart the way a harder lead does. A harder lead will leave it's imprint, and some lead, on the chart. You have to really press down with the eraser to get down into the imprint the harder lead makes, thus scrubbing away paper. If you are using the same chart for multiple plotting of DR tracks, those imprints can be distracting. Particularly under red light at night.
I purchased one of the first NC-77's to come out. What a great machine! Calculating Great Circle courses for trans oceanic passages went from a two hour ordeal to a seven minute, if that, breeze. Of course, I still charged the company the two hours OT for laying out the GC as the NC-77 was my own. I did not find it quite as handy for stars, but that's probably just me. Hidebound. I'll bet not many people know that you can use your GPS to calculate compass error. And I don't mean by monitoring CMG on it. Started out using the Tamaya for that as well. Wished I'd thought of that little nugget when I was debating Cam on the relative merits of celestial navigation. (g)
“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
Last edited by sailaway21; 07-14-2007 at 01:15 AM.