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Trip Report    

Marine Coastal Navigation On-The-Water Clinic - Sporting Jenny, Port of Edmonds Marina

Navigation Class on-water practical practice. A great day and some very good work by the students.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Calm and smokey. This world is on fire.

This was a hands-on training class for the Navigation Class students. We had three students, and the kind help of one assistant instructor, an alumni of the previous class. Though the sun was shining but the conditions were also smokey, which obscured some of the "easy" landmarks. The students adapted and also learned how tricky navigation can be. On our return we even had to plot a compass course for the helmsperson as the East shore was obscured a mile or two out.

After a safety and lesson plan briefing, we made our way under power from the marina and generally headed North toward Possession Point, then West toward Double Bluff across Useless Bay. Then routed back toward Edmonds. Along the way, each person took a turn as Navigator, compass bearing reader, or helm. We tried to do three-bearing fixes, though admittedly they didn't always work out. Some for reasons unknown, but for others we found the person taking the bearings or the navigator might have been using the wrong landmarks. Still, a good way to learn how errors can be induced. We also found most of us couldn't calculate a nautical mile per hour speed in 15-minute increments without a calculator. Even a certified teacher. Oh, what has our educational system become? :)  But the practical training continued.  After a fix was made (and compare to a GPS fix), the deduced (dead) reckoning was advanced on the course to see if we actually got where we though we would go. Sometime we surprisingly close!

As a day on the water, it was pretty great except the smoke and lack of wind. We only burned dinosaurs, no sail used. But we did see harbor porpoises in several places, plus seals, seabirds, and big clump of bull kelp that got caught on our rudder and probably keel too, dropping our speed from around 6 knots to 3. We backed down and cleared the kelp, which was prodigious, and went on our way. Delicious brownies were shared, and a fine day on the water was had by all.  Thanks to the students Lauren, Jane, and Elise, and assistant Hillary for making it fun and educational.

Nav Class crew