Tag Archives: Canadian Power Sail Squadrons

Charts schmarts.

IMG_0123Lets get this out of the way first. I have taken the Canadian Power Sail Squadron’s Seamanship course which has a heavy emphasis on traditional chart plotting,  so I know how to work with paper charts, but as a digital native I prefer the convenience and accuracy of electronic navigation. We can all agree that paper still works when the batteries run out.

On our trip up the Rideau Canal to Ottawa last summer, I used a chart book and my Android Samsung SII cellphone with Navionics for way finding.  There really wasn’t any plotting involved because you just need to follow the trail of red and green bouys, but occasionally you get into open water and need to know which end of the lake to head to. Despite the small screen size, that setup worked except the GPS function and the screen brightness on full, drained the cell phone battery. To keep it alive, I plugged the phone into an AC charger via an extension cord to the AC/DC inverter. It was a messy but functional set up. I resolved that I could do better for the next trip. Continue reading Charts schmarts.

Marlinspike

Marlinspike
Marlinspike

The term Marlinspike was new to me a week ago when I encountered it in my Canadian Power Sail Squadron’s Seamanship course materials. I assumed it was some esoteric school or methodology, but Marlinspike refers to both the tool and the techniques of working with ropes for nautical purposes such as knots, bends, hitches and splices. (The fish marlin is named after the marlinspike!)

Below is pictured my first attempt at an eye splice on some Home Depot nylon rope. It was pretty easy when I followed the instructions provided on animatedknots.com, the diagram in my Seamanship course pack was pretty hard to follow, I highly recommend the animatedknots website, as the name suggests, there are very clear animated videos and it allows you to scrub/step through the knot tying slowly and clearly.

Below is pictured my first attempt at an eye splice on some Home Depot nylon rope. It was pretty easy when I followed the instructions provided on animatedknots.com, the diagram in my Seamanship course pack was pretty hard to follow, I highly recommend the animatedknots website, as the name suggests, there are very clear animated videos and it allows you to scrub/step through the knot tying slowly and clearly.

eye splice in white nylon rope
eye splice
Next time my Tanzer 7.5 needs new mooring pennants, I’ll make them myself!