Tag Archives: Navigational Aids

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!

Travel Theme: Symbol

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Symbol.

Our travel on the water, no less than on land, is governed by symbols…

DSC_0753 cropped smallIMGP7114 cropped smallIMGP5170 cropped smallIMGP2372 cropped smallIMGP3514 cropped smallIMGP0986 cropped smallIMGP0198 croppedDry Salvages, MA, July 2013IMGP5331 cropped smallIMGP4686 cropped small

Travel Theme: Wild

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Wild.

Even in our urban and temperate part of the world—this is not the tropics!—it’s hard to miss the reminders that wild nature is just waiting for us to turn our backs to move in…

IMGP0095 cropped 2IMGP0540 cropped smallIMGP4096 cropped smallGowanus Canal, NYCIMGP2460 cropped smallIMGP5553 cropped smallDSC_0039 cropped small 2IMGP3069 cropped small

Coast Guard ♥ Birds

By Vladimir Brezina

It’s heartwarming to see how much the Coast Guard loves and cherishes its birds! It spares no effort to erect, along every waterway, ingenious structures calculated to be ideal for gulls, cormorants, even ospreys to rest on and, now that it’s spring, to build their nests and raise their young, safe from predators and from human intrusion… well, except for some kayakers ;-)