Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 50

TECH FEATURE

Your Compass
The Most Reliable Instrument
on Your Boat

Deserves Occasional Care and Service
Story | Katherine Stone

I

remember vividly my first experience using a chart plotter and navigation system. Deciding that we should try
the cruising lifestyle, we purchased an older boat and set
out from Hindson's Marina in Penetanguishene at dawn to sail
across Nottawasaga Bay to Thornbury, Ontario for the Canada
Day long weekend. It was a beautiful start to the day when we
left and motored out of Penetanguishene Bay and rounded the
corner, heading toward Christian Island, right into pitch black
clouds. The winds picked up, the rain belted down and we were
encased in fog. I started to panic as we could no longer see the
channel markers indicating the tricky shoals we had to avoid.
Out of the mist I hear my husband's voice calmly saying, "Kate,
trust your instruments," as if I were Luke Skywalker entering the
Death Star's core! I looked down and sure enough, the compass
indicated the correct direction and our boat on the chart plotter
screen was safely going around the buoy, even though I could
not see it.
How on earth did those early Vikings navigate without compasses and chart plotters?

50

Canadian Yachting

Besides looking for birds and smelling if land were near by,
they also looked at the colour of the sea and the way the waves
moved and how the wind blew. They also used a sunstone in
parallel with a sun compass (sundial) to navigate their ships.
Researchers say that the principle behind the sunstone is its
unusual property of creating a double refraction of sunlight,
even in cloud cover and fog. They would turn the crystal in front
of their eye until the darkness of the two shadows were equal.
In this manner the sun's position could be pinpointed with
incredible accuracy. This certainly explains why the Vikings
ruled the Atlantic Ocean for over 300 years and reached North
America without a magnetic compass!
Over 4,000 years ago the Phoenicians navigated using primitive charts and observations of the sun and stars to determine
directions. They used the location of particular stars (especially
those in Ursa Major) to orient the ship. The pole stars were used
because they did not disappear below the horizon and could be
seen throughout the night. Using a sextant, cross-staff, astrolabe
and quadrant, mariners could determine the latitude by measur-

OCTOBER 2019



Canadian Yachting October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Yachting October 2019

At the Helm: A Fresh Approach to the Future
Yacht Club: Alexandra Yacht Club
Travel Destination: Kingston, Ontario. Heritage & Hip
Sail Review: J99
Power Review: Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS
The Port Hole: October 2019
Power Review: Pursuit DC 235
DIY/Tech: Your Compass Deserves Care
Crossing the Line: Disciples of the Multimeter
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT: Charter Handbook
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Intro
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover1
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover2
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - At the Helm: A Fresh Approach to the Future
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 4
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Yacht Club: Alexandra Yacht Club
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 6
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 7
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 8
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 9
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Travel Destination: Kingston, Ontario. Heritage & Hip
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 11
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 12
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 13
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 14
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 15
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Sail Review: J99
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 17
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 18
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 19
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 20
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 21
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Power Review: Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 23
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 24
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 25
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 26
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - The Port Hole: October 2019
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 28
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 29
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 30
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 31
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 32
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 33
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 34
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 35
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 36
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 37
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 38
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 39
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 40
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 41
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 42
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Power Review: Pursuit DC 235
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 44
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 45
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 46
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 47
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 48
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 49
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - DIY/Tech: Your Compass Deserves Care
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 51
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 52
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 53
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 54
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 55
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 56
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 57
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 58
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 59
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 60
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 61
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Crossing the Line: Disciples of the Multimeter
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 63
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 64
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT: Charter Handbook
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 66
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 67
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 68
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 69
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 70
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 71
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 72
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 73
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 74
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 75
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 76
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 77
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 78
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover3
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover4
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