Guiding Principle

Open crossings, paddling at night or in fog, or sorting out which of many islands to paddle towards all require the ability to plot and follow a course. Again, this is important for good seamanship.

Performance Objectives
  1. Paddlers should plot a course using a number of techniques.
  2. Paddlers should use piloting to follow the course.
  3. Paddlers should adjust for magnetic variation.
  • Photocopy of charts
  • Orienteering compass
  • Pencils
  • Parallel rules
  • Small Craft Nav-Aid
  • Scratch paper
  • Grease pencil

Magnetic Variation

The problem encountered with plotting a course is that the bearing potted will not match what the compass reads while afloat.  The north of a compass (or magnetic north) does not agree with the geographic North Pole.

Magnetic Variation (Declination)

The difference between True North and Magnetic North. Changes depending on geographic location.