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I entered into this course with no illusions that it would be easy. On the contrary, given that it has been well over a year since I have done any formal plotting exercises, I was pretty sure that at least that part of it would be tough. Day 1 began with us jumping in with both feet on that stuff, plotting fixes, making tidal calculations for secondary ports, etc. etc. etc. By the time the day was done, the material we covered was about as clear as Hog Island water (that is not quite as clear as the water you’d find in the Exumas but infinitely more clear than Baltimore Harbor).

Ex. “warm-up” question (chart required to answer it, but you’ll get the idea):

  • At 1700 a yacht sailing out of Endal Bay into a westerly breeze is at position 46?14′.90N 005?47′.73W. The skipper intends to tack when the 10m contour off Strong Holm is reached.
    a) Plot a projected EP to find where the yacht will tack.
    b) How long will it take the yacht to reach the contour?
    Best course to windward 320?(M). Leeway 5?. Variation 7?W.
    Boat speed 5.0kn. Set and drift 245?(T) 1.8kn.

Given the number of people that I have supporting me in this course (my wonderful wife Rebecca, Pete and Daniel from Coral, Alex, the course instructor), is there any way I could do anything other than pass? Back to the books!

Rebecca walked me all the way to “school” to make sure I didn’t play hooky.

By the way, the course was supposed to continue today but due to a scheduling conflict with the conference room where it is being held, the students got a reprieve until Sunday. This means that I get to go hashing once again. Woo hoo!


  1. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Good to see you have your school lunch & drink in your back pk. hope all goes well 🙂
    & play nice nw

  2. You are gonna ace this! So excited for you and the challenges and opportunites this will afford you.

  3. Hi Mike – it’ll be cool, so no need for the whinging! I’ve done it, and once you’ve got as many sea miles as you under your keel, it’s no sweat.

    I’ve had a very dull summer (topping up cofers, stuck ashore) so have not been torturing myself reading cruiser blogs. Great to see you’re having such a fab time.


  4. Mike, you will do fine! Plotting, etc., is like riding a bike. You may get rusty, but you don’t forget! Think positive! 🙂

  5. Good luck Mike! Let us know how it goes for you 🙂

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