Keeping a log
I have cruised Lake Michigan each summer for the last 25 years and have been to all but a couple of ports on the lake. I do not keep a log and, in clear weather do not enter my postion on a chart unless I am in tricky waters. In fog, I do enter my position on a paper chart every 30 minutes. I know quite a few sailors that enter their position in their log at regular intervals regardless of conditions. Many of them feel I am too care free about my cruising. I also do not bother using my compass when travelling along a coast - I just look at the chart and if the water is clear treat it like a day sail. Am I too lax?
Keeping a log
In my prior boats, day trips rarely were logged, unless new equipment was being tested or repairs/upgrades were made (aside from routine maintenance). Most cruises beyond my home waters of Narragansett Bay however, were always recorded in the ship''s log.
I will be more dilligent with daily entries with my new boat (have to make use of that monogramed, hardbound, log book gift). There are more systems to monitor, my crew and I will be on a new learning curve, expect to take more cruises of longer duration and distance, and the log will be a valuable record of recorded repairs, upgrades and nautical miles traveled. Even though electronic GPS plotters can back track, a paper record of periodic positions is prudent seamanship.
We all do what we have to do to ensure confidence in our navigational abilities and express whatever pride we may have as captain of our vessels.
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