Re: Dead Reckoning
DR is (or was) my primary nav method and GPS is mostly just a sanity check. I used DR before I had LORAN and used it to sail from Sarasota to Carabelle, FL and it was magic to see that marker on the horizon just where and when it should be after two days. I use it to sail between Cedar Key and Tarpon Springs quite often. Why bother with the GPS. My speed log was one of those "knotstiks" you drag behind you and it has a spring and reads knots on a scale on the side, no electronics. I ALWAYS plot my position on paper charts and I try to nav near shore by taking bearings on known objects. This gives a much better sense of where you are.
Lately, I've gotten lazy and use the GPS to give me lat/Lon and I have a pic in my head of lat and Lon of either a "waypoint" or a feature to avoid and I know "If my lon gets smaller than XX,yy,ZZZZ then I am in trouble" or My Lat is changing faster than my Lon so I need to steer more E or W. For awhile I almost bought a chart plotter until my brain switched to this new mental pic of navigation. Now, I don't think I need it.