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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 02-01-2009
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Cool Navigation 101

Hey guys!
So I'm going on a college spring break trip (first real cruise) from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini and parts surrounding. Responsibility for navigation is turning out to be a "group effort".

Any navigation 101 advice? Books? Somewhere I can learn a thing or two in the next month?

Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2009
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Originally Posted by Angelgal918 View Post
Hey guys!
So I'm going on a college spring break trip (first real cruise) from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini and parts surrounding. Responsibility for navigation is turning out to be a "group effort".

Any navigation 101 advice? Books? Somewhere I can learn a thing or two in the next month?

Thanks!
Books abound - google is you friend - books and putting it to experience priceless...
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Old 02-02-2009
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"Group effort" usually means no one is taking responsibility for it. Good for you for making an effort, although one month will require a steep learning curve. I would get "Chapmans", but even better would be to get into a CG aux. class if possible. You will need to know what is on the boat: charts, GPS, chartplotter, compass, radar, AIS, etc., and then learn how to use it all. From Ft. L to Bimini is pretty staight forward, but you need to be aware that the Gulf Stream flows from South to North at app. 3 knots so you will have to crab into it and you don't want to go if the wind is from the North. Search this site for Gulf Stream and Bahamas and Bimini, you will probably find a lot of good info. You need to know what you are doing or things can go wrong in a hurry, don't underestimate what you are planning to do.

Good luck, John
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Old 02-02-2009
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laughing,
good luck on the "group effort".hope your captain is not running the boat same.........

M
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Old 02-02-2009
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Get the charts for the area you'll be cruising and become familiar with the area. Check here for the relevant ones for free: NOAA Nautical Charts in .png Format or search the Internet for them, or, just buy them. Also, you can download this free navigation tool: SeaClear GPS Navigation Software

Find out what navigation equipment is onboard the boat you'll be using. (Based on a response from a different thread, I would assume you have some access to boats,or pop into a West Marine.) Become familiar with it, if you aren't already.

Learn the basic terminology if you don't already know it (see article at bottom of page) so you have some idea what it's all about.

More than likely, you'll have a chartplotter aboard, so mostly it will be only a matter of simply paying attention. You should though, have paper charts as well, and at least mark your position regularly while underweigh.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you'll be crossing the Gulfstream. This is something that requires preplanning and a sharp eye on the weather and the conditions that result from it. Which, since you'll be on a fixed time frame, you may well find conditions will not be good for making a crossing, or even allow you to. This is something you should make a part of your plans.
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Old 02-02-2009
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If you really want to learn something about navigation, buy Richard Hubbard's book, Boater's Bowditch. Worth every penny.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal918 View Post
Hey guys!
So I'm going on a college spring break trip (first real cruise) from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini and parts surrounding. Responsibility for navigation is turning out to be a "group effort".

Any navigation 101 advice? Books? Somewhere I can learn a thing or two in the next month?

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2009
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Thanks!

Thanks everybody!
Don't worry too much- We're having a "group lesson" in navigation to make sure each watch knows what they're doing. Considering we've got two boats and 18 people and 2 charter captains, I think we'll be fine.

Thanks again!
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