Join Date: Jun 2010
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A little background...I am finishing a tour in Iraq as a Communications Officer in the Army and will be purchasing my first sailboat in a couple months. About to make an offer on an Aleutka 25!
My background is in flying...learned to fly at age 15 and received my license at 17. I also have quite a bit of ocean going experience as a cadet at one of the state Maritime Academies in Marine Engineering before life threw a curveball and I wound up with a degree in English and an Army Commission. That being said, my love for the ocean when I was with the merchant marine is what possessed me to purchase a sailboat and enjoy the water as a pleasure activity instead of work.
With all of my flying experience I know quite a bit about navigation and particularly how it is a meshing of many different sources into one "complete picture." Flying light aircraft will prove that it is not if, but when, you will lose your electrical system and be left with your paper charts and dead reckoning...things I quite enjoy (well the navigation, not losing electricity!) and am pretty comfortable with.
So with my free time over here in the sand box I have been reading all sorts of learn to sail type stuff and the last couple days I started taking a serious look at marine navigation. I will be able to transpose alot of my aviation skills to the marine world, but one question that I cannot find an answer to online is driving me nuts!
What charts do you use to plot on when you are crossing an ocean? I know, sounds stupid, but I can't nail this down. All the NOAA charts are near coastal. British Admiralty?
Let's say for example I left Costa Rica on the Pacific Side and set sail for Australia. Navigation plan as follows:
Will use electronic chartplotter/gps and will also take lat/long GPS readings and plot on my PAPER CHART as well as carry a sextant as a contingency should the chartplotter/gps and my handheld gps both fail to provide lat/long and of course I would continue plotting and correcting off of my paper chart.
I stumbled onto some weird answer to a question like this that suggested you need to use blank lat/long charts and transpose them onto another chart if you want to plot using paper across an ocean because the small scale ocean charts do not have a compass rose? That sounded weird.
Trouble is, all people want to talk about, at least online, or teach, at least on line is about chartplotters and what the latest greatest and best/worst thinga about electronic charts is. Could someone bring me up to speed on open ocean passagemaking charting? Particularly what you use to chart/plot your lat long on while on long passages as well as use to update your heading? A primer.
Thanks all, looking forward to joining the discussion here!