I’m happy to say I taught a lot of navigation this spring. After I announced the first class, there was so much demand that I taught a second (shorter) class and then taught a third (original length) class. All in, over two dozen learners, and I learned a lot myself!
Technically these were classes about navigation and tidal planning, with a bit of weather and communications thrown in at the end. That’s a lot of material to cover, and the short version of the class narrowed the focus to some practical aspects for a specific club.
However, everyone got to learn how to use a compass both to get their bearings and to plan a trip. This meant using charts and being able to line up reality with what was on the chart.
We also spent some time on tide tables – which, as a seller of Eldridge tide and pilot books, I have plenty of. Learning the distinctions between tides and tidal currents, springs and neaps, and rules of thumb for speed and distance – all that went into some trip planning.
There’s nothing like a live demonstration – including humans standing in for water levels around an inflatable Earth, chasing an inflatable moon.
At the end of the day, we talked about weather, and weather patterns, and signs of weather, ending with some discussion of how to use radios and other tools for communication.
I was very pleased with these classes and hope to offer more this year – and next year. They’re great for the colder seasons, when not everyone gets out – but a little practical navigation always beckons to be practiced, any time of year.