Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Thanked 108 Times in 105 Posts
Rep Power: 8
The US Power and Sail Squadron and CG Aux still teach DR and using paper charts in their basic boating courses. The trick to getting the students to enjoy and pay attention is to make sure they see how much information is contained on a paper chart, how they can use it to plan ahead, and to generally not give them the sense that a paper chart is going the way of the mimeograph machine and what they are learning is not a waste of time. Usually, when I tell them that in the winter I love lighting a fire, pouring a glass of cognac and opening my charts on the drafting table to plan trips for the next season, they at least become curious as to what it is that's holding my attention on that piece of paper.
It's kind of like the department store windows during the holidays giving you that warm and fuzzy feeling in the hopes that you're drawn into the store. It's all in the presentation.
I love to look at those Bahamas Explorer books wondering what different anchorages and passages are like!
The difficulty with DR is in the practice. Doing the planning is one thing, actually navigating in stressful high current/wind places with poor visibility thrown in is a different story. The temptation to turn on that GPS is too great. When DR was the standard there was no other choice. Things like depth, current tables, triangulation with a handheld compass, range bearings, and accurate calculation of course made good were primary considerations. In order to be able to use these things, you really have to practice them. I'd bet the term sighting a "range" to establish a LOP is totally alien to the large majority of boaters. It's such an easy technique, near or far. Years ago, fishing for a living, I could relocate places within feet using triangulation of ranges.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.