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What's your Magnetic Variation - the compass not you !

Sitting at home staring out at the rain on a wet and windy Sunday in East Sussex while planning our trip to the Channel Islands this summer, it occurred to me that I dont really pay that much attention to magnetic variation since the variation is so small that it normally doesnt make much of a difference especially when you factor in all the other ways in which either my navigation, my estimation or the various real vagaries of wind, tide and so on affect a course and an eventual landfall. I guess it would make a real difference on

…….Click What’s your Magnetic Variation – the compass not you ! …. to continue reading

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World Cruising Wiki...

I have written about the excellent Active Captain project before, but I have recently discovered the World Cruising Wiki which seems to be a tremendous use of wiki technology to collate the wisdom of cruisers from around the globe. Active Captain is focused on collating local navigation and pilotage information from its registered skippers but also on bringing this knowledge to your smart phone – an endeavour that is still bleeding edge – but will eventually be perfectly acceptable and reliable…. As smart phones get better, and GSM or

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Let SeeSnake take you round the bend !

The Wireless Ridgid Seesnake Micro Inspection Camera System display is clear, even in moderately bright light and, since there is no focus adjustment to fiddle with, you just point and shoot. You can use this to see under the boat even while in the water! …imagine you’ve snagged another fishing net or stray rope – using this handy device you can at least see what the problem is before you don the scuba gear… or look under the engine mounting to see where that leak is cominig from…

…….Click Let SeeSnake take you round the bend ! …. to continue reading

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Starry, starry night, paint your iPhone blue and grey...

Mastering even the rudiments of astro navigation is still an ambition for me. Its one of those skills that really must be learned through practice – especially practice at sea.

Practical celestial navigation usually requires a marine chronometer to measure time, a sextant to measure the angles, an almanac giving schedules of the coordinates of celestial objects, a set of sight reduction tables to help perform the height and azimuth computations, and a chart of the region. With sight reduction tables, the only math required is addition and subtraction.

…….Click Starry, starry night, paint your iPhone blue and grey… …. to continue reading

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7 days sailing just to cross the garbage in the North Pacific

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he’s drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.

While competing in the Transpac 1997 veteran seafarer Charles Moore came across what some have since deemed the world’s largest “landfill” — actually a huge water-bound swath of floating plastic garbage the size of two Texases. Trapped in an enormous slow whirlpool called the Pacific Gyre ,

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