The passage without electronics

Setting sail from Yarmouth with the rising sun behind me, I'll stand out on the port tack to get clear of the rock off the harbour, then eyeball it down to the Bridge, tacking as dictated by common sense. There arc plenty of buoys and they should be visible. I'll stay out of Colwell Bay (rocks), and I'll take special care to tack in good time as I approach the Shingles Bank marked by red buoys. Once I'm clear of the Needles, there's plenty of water before I reach the Bridge buoy to set course early, but I don't know what the sea conditions will be like, so I'll take that as it comes. The log book might look like this:

Time Log 0600 -

Course Wind P W4


0700 00.0 184M W4

Barom 1018


Remarks Engine

Beating down to the Off Needles. Full main and Genoa. Nice morning.

Bridge Buoy at hand. Off Beam reach (true); one more yacht out here going our way; sea moderate; kettle on. Log to zero.

0800 6.3 184M W4/5 1016_ Fix on chart. Sea a bit Off steep. Hanging onto full sail for now.

A position of some sort every hour is sound policy, and since I can sec the land clearly I should take a fix. In any case, right now it's easier to do that than to work up an EP. I'll cross reference it against my course steered and distance run, but I won't physically plot the EP. So long as it all stacks up, I'm happy. At 0920 the land is fading from view and I take a departure fix which gives me my last certain position before I sight France. After this, it's all EPs.

Time Log Course Wind Barom Remarks Engine

0920 14.9 184M W4 1016 Departure fix. Off

Vis about 15M. EP and fix on chart. Yacht falling astern!

Notice that I have plotted my EP this time. That's to make sure the tide is behaving as expectcd. If it hadn't been I could have modified my course to steer. It was, so I haven't. It also gives me a confirmation of this important fix.

Things now proceed systematically. I go off watch, leaving instructions for the hands to record the log each hour and to call me as we approach the shipping lanes. They can manage without me until then and I need to stay fresh, so it's down to the bunk for me with my favourite book. If I don't do this, I'll just sit up there with things going round and round in my head. Far better to take a break.

Time Log Course Wind Barom Remarks Engine

1100 24.0 180M WNW4 1015 EP on chart. Off

Alter course.

This course alteration is for the shipping lanes. The wind has veered a touch, freeing us, and I have no compunction about giving away a bit of ground to windward. I make up the plot now I'm awake, and place a fresh EP on the chart.

Time Log Course Wind Barom Remarks Engine

1405 42.2 200M WSW5 1014 EP on chart Off

Out of shipping lanes, but so far east that we've altered well to the west, just to make sure.

This next EP shows that my keenness to comply with the traffic regulations has left me well to leeward and the wind has backed unkindly. Things aren't looking so good and we're really going to need that westerly set.

Here's the next log entry:

Time Log Course Wind Barom Remarks Engine

1450 47.0 210M WSW5 1013'i Fix on what can only On be Pte de Barfleur and

The Central Channel.

what I take to be C Levi. EP and depth confirm, but suggest we're a mile or so to leeward of the fix. Motorsailing now. Cone hoisted.

Note how keeping the plot going has enabled me to make the right decision about motorsailing and has helped me identify my landfall with confidence. We went so far east looking for the first of the west-going tide that we'll end up beating at this rate.

Time Log Course Wind Barom Remarks Engine

1600 52.5 215M/P WSW5 1012'i Cherbourg On

Fort dc l'Est in sight. Altering course to bring it into transit with its background. Rolled in genoa.

But fortune is kind, and my landfall fix indicates that I've found the tide earlier than I expect. Deteriorating sea conditions as the stream begins to set against the tide have already suggested that. I've logged my positions and even if the fog came in now, I'd stand a good chance.

Time Log Course Wind Barom Remarks Engine

1735 60.4 P SW5 1011 Fort de PEst abeam. On

Pilotage plan activated. Good thing wc motorsailed.

A safe arrival. Note how the plot was maintained throughout.

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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