Navigation is the critical element of sailing. Without navigation sailors would be hitting rocks, other vessels being caught in winds too strong, or being swept away in the wrong direction in a strong current. Its critical that a good and capable navigator is onboard. The main tools of the navigator are the maritime charts, and the weather forecasts. Here is a link to one of the weather forecast pages we use: http://googleweblight.com/?lite_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nws.noaa.gov%2Fos%2Fmarine%2Fradiofax.htm&btnGo=Go
The carts we are using are on the bottom of the Voyage page at www.svbluemoon.com the charts can be clicked on the get and expanded view. A good description if the difference between a chart and a map is that a map tells you where to go, a chart tells where not to go.
Marye Ellen has a bit more information on navigation here:
This Pac Cup has been a challenge from the navigation perspective. We left San Francisco in heavy winds and swell to be greeted on Day 4 with a very fast and comfortable beam/broad reach. On Day 6 we encountered unexpected light conditions. I have been analyzing the Ocean Prediction Center briefings twice daily to figure out the best route to keep us out of the light wind areas. The high pressure ridge on the Pacific has been moving around, so finding the resulting winds is like catching a moving target (kind of like Harry Potter chasing the golden snitch). If you are wondering why our track has so many squiggles, it's because we have been making many course adjustments to chase the wind. Today is Day 9 and we are sailing well in winds about 12-15 kts on a broad reach with about 800 nm to the finish. When we cross longitude 150W, I will be navigating on Chart 19007 (Hawaii to French Frigate Shoals).
It's beautiful out here! We have been treated to spectacular sunsets and sunrises, full arc rainbows around the squalls, and crystal clear starry skies with shooting stars. Seb caught a bluefin tuna that made a delicious dinner. I have been playing with the sextant doing celestial navigation LOPs on the sun and planets. So much fun!!
Cheers for now,