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Coastal Waters Navigation

Sunday, April 28, 2019, 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Bus Company
11800 95th Ave N
Maple Grove, MN  55369
Peggy O'Neal
Skill Building
Registration is required
Payment In Advance Only
Available Slots:
Paddling on the ocean this summer?  Tides and currents, anyone?  And magnetic variation -- 17 degrees east on the west coast, 16 degrees west on the east coast -- what's a paddler to do?

This course, taught by Peggy O'Neal and Jeff and Michelle Forseth, focuses on paddlers who want to extend their navigation skills to include skills needed to paddle in coastal venues with tides and currents and significant magnetic variation.

We assume that the students have an understanding of and ability to use the skills taught in Inland Waters Navigation.  We will briefly review, and then build on those skills as we cover the following new topics:
  • The coastal environment
  • Tides and currents
  • Sources of tide and current information
  • Magnetic variation
  • Numerous route planning exercises in a variety of locations that take these factors into account
Minimum class size:  4

Registration closes April 24 to allow time for printing materials.

Please bring the following to class:
  • Base plate compass (See "Notes on base plate compasses" below.)
  • Straight edge (e.g., ruler)
  • Pencils
  • Eraser
  • Notepad and pen for taking notes
There will be a prework exercise of collecting tide and current information that will be used in class.
The class will include an optional day paddle in the spring specifically focused on navigation.
Optional Items (if you already have them):
  • Any navigational tools you have and want to practice (parallel rulers, nav aid, dividers)
  • Chart Number 1
Notes on base plate compasses

As we've taught the course for the past few years and seen a variety of compasses, we've noticed that some work better than others for the way we use them.  Michelle, Jeff and Peggy all like the Suunto M3 compass (available at REI) for the following reasons:

  • It's long enough to provide a straight edge for laying out a course but small enough to fit into one of our PFD pockets.
  • It has several vertical orienting lines to line up with a longitude line.
  • It has one horizontal line which is frequently useful if there's a latitude line in the right place.
  • It has a small magnifier.
  • It has rubber feet to make it less likely to slip.
  • It has a Direction of Travel mark.
 It would be perfect if it had a mark 180 degrees opposite from the Direction of Travel mark, but so far we haven't found a compass with all of these features.