Executing the passage


The early part of the passage is carried out in much the same way as if there were no GPS. It's pilotage down to the Bridge buoy, then I set course just as before.

On passage

Oncc clear of the land, I use the fixing power of GPS to plot an hourly position of known accuracy, double-checking each lat/long fix against bearing and distance to one of my waypoints. My log book looks like this:

Time Log Course Position Weather Remarks Engine

0800 6.3 184M Needles 6.5M W4/5 Sea a bit steep, Off 193T (1016'i) hanging onto full sail for now.

Note that I now have a column for position. Previously, I plotted this on the chart, because it was inevitably somewhat imprecise for numerical definition to the second decimal point. Now, however, I know where I am and it makes sense to log the position as well as plotting it. This not only allows a back-check, it also means that unskilled crew members can jot down a lat/long on the hour if the navigator is off watch. Working back from these positions he can then see exactly where he's been, and if the GPS fails, he knows where he was at the last reasonable moment before the lights went out.

Having an accurate fix to compare with my projected 'EP waypoint' when I come out of the shipping lanes helps me quantify how far east I'm being set. I can therefore alter course with more confidence. The tide has yet to turn, however, so I will continue to shape a course rather than follow a GPS bearing to my destination waypoint.

Nearing the destination

Round about the time I make landfall, I'll begin using GPS to compare my COG (course over ground) with the bearing of Fort de L'Est. I'll also be logging my position as 'Fort de l'Est 14.9M, 21 IT' in preference to my mid-Channel lat/long.

Knowing that the tide will strengthen, I'll initially shape for a point up-tide of the waypoint's bearing, but as I come within an hour or so of the fort, I'll begin steering to have the two figures coincide. If it were foggy, I'd refine the arrival waypoint to be in a very safe place after double-checking datum one more time. Then I'd reactivate the GoTo function and follow the XTE screen 'right down the middle' for the run-in. If vis is good, as it is on this passage, I'll forget the GPS once I'm absolutely certain about what I am seeing. I'll switch into eyeball mode a few miles out and use natural transits to home in as before.

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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