Tag Archives: Sea Kayaking

Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation, by David Burch

By Vladimir Brezina

Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation, 4th Edition, by David Burch. Falcon Guides, Globe Pequot Press, 2008

The availability of handheld charting GPS units has made small-boat navigation so easy that many kayakers are neglecting the basic principles that must be used to make navigation, including GPS navigation, safe and efficient. And what to do if that magic box fails, as in a kayak it sooner or later will, due to water intrusion or just dead batteries? David Burch is passionate about all aspects of small-boat navigation, and it shows. His Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation, now in its 4th edition (2008), is a classic.

In this book Burch covers

  • nautical charts and chart reading
  • compass use
  • dead reckoning
  • piloting
  • tides and currents
  • GPS use
  • marine radios
  • navigation in traffic
  • Rules of the Road
  • navigation at night
  • navigation in fog
  • chart preparation and navigation planning

and many other topics.

The book is a pleasure to read. Each topic is covered in considerable but never excessive detail, and accompanied by plentiful, beautifully clear illustrations that effectively focus on the point being made in each case.

Burch well understands the difficulties of navigating a kayak that may be awash in waves, where the usual navigational tools are lacking, where it may even be impossible to refold the chart in the wind! This is a book specifically about kayak navigation.

The section on GPS and other electronic resources is inevitably somewhat dated (technology has progressed so rapidly since 2008!) and not so useful. This is not a book for those who want to understand how to use their GPS.

Otherwise, Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation is the one-stop resource for everything kayak-navigation-related. As I said, a classic!

On the Way

By Vladimir Brezina

Underway off Cape Cod, Massachusetts—

On the Way(story and more photos are here)

A contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, On the Way.

Tangle

By Vladimir Brezina

Through the ironically named Broad Creek… even worse than The Nightmare :-)

Tangle(2014 Everglades Challenge. Story and more photos here.)

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Tangle.

Yellow

By Vladimir Brezina

A yellow kayak, for a change…

Yellow kayak

A response to this week’s Photo Challenge, Yellow.

Travel Theme: Freedom

By Vladimir Brezina

Ready for adventure!
(Full story of that day in the Florida Everglades is here.)

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Freedom.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Endurance.

Long-distance kayaking is all about endurance. We can paddle past sunset

Past sunset

into the night

Into the night

and when the next day dawns

Dawn

we are still there, paddling.

Still paddling

We can paddle forever.

But we can’t stay awake forever. Sooner or later, that nap on the beach becomes impossible to resist…

Nap on the beach

From the 2014 Everglades Challenge. Story and more photos are here.

Another response to Endurance is here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure!

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Adventure!

Adventure is limitless space

Limitless space

wind on the open sea

Wind on the open sea

always wondering what’s round the next corner

Wondering what's round the next corner

paddling to distant capes

Paddling to distant capes

expecting the unexpected

Expecting the unexpected

wondering if it’s even possible

Wondering if it's possible

and then paddling past the sunset

Paddling past the sunset

and through the night

Through the night

(All photos from our 2013 Everglades Shakedown paddle and the 2014 Everglades Challenge.)