Log Keeping

In the past, details of course and distance were kept on a traverse board - check out Figure 5.8. These were used well into the 19th century. If paper and pencil are scarce

5.8 A traverse board. See Chapter 11 on how to use a traverse board. The one shown uses the traditional 32 point compass. If you want to work in degrees then use 36 rows of holes, each row representing 10 degrees

5.8 A traverse board. See Chapter 11 on how to use a traverse board. The one shown uses the traditional 32 point compass. If you want to work in degrees then use 36 rows of holes, each row representing 10 degrees

this may still be a useful way to record speed and course changes during a watch, but it is also necessary to keep track of other changes in your local environment. The early navigators probably did so instinctively and would have been surprised at our lack of innate awareness. Encourage everyone to watch for changes in the waves, swells, winds, the sky, the temperature, and the presence and behaviour of seabirds that may warn you of a wind shift, approaching bad weather, or land. Note these down. Write up the log at least once every watch, on every change of course. Note if there is any change in wind or sea conditions, and when a DR or EP is worked up.

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