For some time now, I’ve been thinking about doing a Coastal Navigation Course which apart from being a prerequisite for the 4 Star Sea proficiency award also provides tools on how to do things properly when planning your next trip. Thankfully, my colleagues at Shropshire Paddlesport had arranged for Phil Hadley (jolly nice chap) to run one at their clubhouse at the Queen’s Head near Oswestry.
I had read Franco’s book Sea Kayak Navigation prior to the course but I don’t learn in this way and was finding some of the concepts a little daunting. I needn’t have worried as Phil’s relaxed, humorous and informative manner soon brought all the words to life and once you knew how made everything seem very easy indeed. Obviously, there was a lot covered in the course but then main points for me were:
a) Sources of Information (Weather, Wind and Tides etc);
b) Charts (Which ones and their limitations);
c) Tidal streams;
d) Plotting Your Course (Dead Reckoning and allowances for tidal assistance or not);
f) Use of a GPS; and
g) Passage Planning (transits, MK1 etc)
I had a great time on the course and on rereading the Sea Kayak Navigation book it now all makes sense so if you are looking for a Coastal Navigation Course, I would recommend one by Phil Hadley.