The practices of marine navigation and piloting are ancient skills. Sailors navigated for thousands of years by sight, using landmarks and the stars as their guides. Magnetic compasses and mechanical tools to make celestial angular measurements are relatively modern inventions. Mariners who could follow landmarks and the stars and safely navigate a ship from one point to another were normally only those in command. Minoans are related to the advanced Bronze Age culture that flourished in Crete from about…..
I have stated in a previous blog, ” the magnetic compass is the most important navigational instrument on a small boat. However, there are certain preparations necessary to be made and completed for it to assume this prestigious position of, “most important.” To “understand” the compass you must know what influences it’s actions. The initial influences on a magnetic compass is the earths magnetism. In navigation we determine latitude and employ latitude to describe a position. Latitude is determined by…..
Your journey into the sport of sailing has no destination, the path is endless, the pleasures and challenges are numerous. The knowledge acquired will grow as you venture further and further from land, as your vessels increase in size and complexity. You will soon become aware that if you increase your understanding of nature and the environment around you, it deepens your appreciation of being a sailor. Increasing your knowledge of weather, tides, currents, celestial sightings opens a vista where…..
Understanding weather is the artistic and scientific component to our sport. Hearing is important to the progress we want to make. A seafarer has many sounds they must consider. The sound of waves breaking on the coast, we’re approaching shallow water, the sound of birds returning to land, follow them and find a safe harbor. The sound of the winds, a “backing wind” precedes a storm. The sound of lightening, the sound of thunder, those are two sounds you must…..
In April of 1895, Joshua Slocum left Boston and became the first man to sail the world single-handedly. That’s how I felt at the halfway point on our passage from Marina del Rey, Southern California, to Los Hadas, Mexico. It’s the 800/900 mile waypoint. Traveling on the west coast of the U.S., going south means viewing sunsets every evening with an occasional green flash. Being one hundred to one hundred fifty miles off shore, if you’re on a rheum line,…..
I was born and spent my first 17 years in, South Bend,Indiana. Yes, also the home of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Throughout my public school years, I was involved in organized scholastic athletics, basketball, track and football. While at South Bend Central High School, during my junior year, I was on the basketball team that won the 1953 Indiana State Basketball Championship. Our team was acknowledged in the movie, HOOSIERS, staring the actor Gean Hackman. Incidentally, the most watched…..
All boaters using the U.S. waterways must adhere to garbage dumping restrictions. It was long thought that man could not affect the environment negatively due to the sheer volume of rivers, bays and oceans. We now recognize that thought was incorrect. So now in an effort to keep our waters clean and to avoid damage to fragile wetlands and other sensitive areas we have adopted regulations to reduce environment impacts of dumping. There are three designated zones where the regulations…..
Safe boating is the responsibility, mainly, of the captain. Does the crew have any responsibility? Yes, the crew plays a major role. Safe boating is more than having all required safety equipment including proper lights, proper sound producing equipment, flotation devices for each person on board. One of the main tasks is organizing the crew by assigning each person on board a specific duty they are responsibility for.
Welcome. My name is Bill Harmon, author of Knot For Sailors Only. I’m so happy to have you as a visitor to my blog about my new book. This project is very special to me, and I hope to share some of that excitement with you here. I’ll be using this blog to interact with you about Knot For Sailors Only, expanding on some of the topics in it and blogging on some of the ideas related to my…..