How to Report Nautical Chart Corrections

One great virtue of electronic charts is their ability to be updated quickly by both NOAA's Office of Coast Survey (OCS), who makes the charts, and then the mariners who use them on the water. Electronic Navigational Charts…

Detecting Fast Winds Aloft… and Why We Care

The winds aloft at about 500 mb (18,000 ft) play a key role in the winds we ultimately feel on the surface. The relationship is discussed in our textbook Modern Marine Weather. In short, the direction of the winds aloft tell…

Correcting Add East—An Overview of Compass Conversions

A true direction is the bearing of a target from your location measured relative to true north (000 T). True north is the direction on the horizon that is directly below the pole of the sky that all stars rotate about. It is…

Introduction to Vessel Running Lights (Navigation Lights)

Navigation lights help identify vessel type and its direction of motion.  The required lights are specified in the Navigation Rules, Part C, Rules 20 to 31.  Power vessels in Rule 23 and sailing vessels in Rule 25 are the…

Social Distancing and the Navigation Rules

These sad times have introduced a new terminology to the public called "social distancing," but this is not a new concept to mariners familiar with the Navigation Rules. We call it "close-quarters." Its goal is precisely the…

The Mariner’s Sky: Northern Sky

We have a new Regiment of the North Star that can be used for finding latitude from Polaris without the official USNO annual nautical almanac. It can be used anytime you see Polaris, on any date or year. The method relies on…

Forecasting and Evaluating Local Weather

Starpath Navigation's David Burch takes us through local weather analysis, with a focus on the 2020 Toliva Shoals Race For local weather, meaning inland and near coastal, we need regional models. For the day of the sail the…