Each of our course pages has a nano-forum (called SeaTalks) attached so that students can comment on the content of that page. Recently a student asked a question on the nano-forum about the distance off/double the angle method and pointed out something which when we did the geometry analysis it turns up something quite revealing.
The distance off method uses basic geometry to determine the distance from an object without doing a fix on a chart. It is quite brilliant. First I’ll explain the concept then show you the failings of it.
The concept is basic triangle geometry.
Distance-off or double the angle method
It says that when you have traveled a distance so that the angle to an object has doubled that the distance you traveled is the same as the distance from the object. All you have to know is your speed and the time you traveled. This comes from the fact that when the angle is doubled then the inside angle next to it is 180 – 2 x the angle. Thus since the sum of all angles in a triangle must = 180 then the unknown angle becomes the same. Thus it is an equilateral triangle and b must equal a.
So for example, say you are traveling at 5 knots and you spot a lighthouse ahead and to port @ time 1030. You measure the angle from your bow to the light house which you find to be 33 degrees. Over time you monitor the angle, when it reaches 66 degrees you note the time of 1105.
The time you traveled was: 35/60 = 0.583 hours
The distance then was speed x time = 5 knots x .583 hours = 2.92 nm
So simple! Right?
Here is the catch. What is your course? Do you know it? Not really, there is leeway (sideways pushing of your boat on the wind) and quite possibly current. The geometry equation fails when the heading (direction your boat is pointing) and the course over ground do not match. It is because you are measuring the angle from the bow to the object, which is not necessarily your course over ground. Often times these can be 10-20 degrees or more in a sailboat. Less so in a power boat where the speed is higher so current is less of a % and leeway is reduced.
All well if you know your course, but where did you get it from? GPS? Well then you definitely know where you are so you don’t need this method. 3 point fixes? Well then you definitely again have a chart and know where you are. So hmmmm what is one to do with this seemingly useless geometric wonderland that in practice does not work?
You could estimate your leeway and apply the correction to your heading and you could consult the tide current table to estimate the current effect of your heading. For example, say your leeway was 10 degrees to starboard in the example above (no current). Then the real angle from your course to the object would be 43 degrees. You should wait until the object then is at 86 degrees off your course which is 86-10 =76 degrees off your heading off the port bow.
Distance off with correction
We have this same discussion in our Coastal Navigation Course.
Take the NauticEd Coastal Navigation Course online NOW. Get real practical training and examples. Do it in your own time and take the tests as many times as you like – forever.
It is such good stuff that we made it available for free here. You’re Welcome!
Provisioning for a Bareboat Charter Trip
Many charter companies can stock and provision your boat before you arrive. This is a good idea for the basics but there is usually little imagination in the food that is supplied. So we recommend allowing the charter company to provision for basics but plan on a trip to the supermarket for the sometimes delectable local foods and cheeses. There is typically a large supermarket close to the charter base. But check with them before you arrive via phone or email. Even in non-English speaking countries, most people who will answer the phone at the charter base speak pretty good English.
In the BVI there are two good provisioning grocery stores in Road town that do a great job of catering to Yachties. You can order the provisions online through an online web portal, enter when you start your charter, which charter company Base and boat name (or your name on your charter contract) and they will reliably deliver everything to you.
Also, it’s a good idea not to go overboard on provisions. On most islands that you’ll visit during the trip you can get extra provisions and ice, so don’t buy too much. For those that are used to ice in their drinks, however, the Mediterranean is definitely lacking in ice machines so get used to one cube in your drink. There are often other remote places like Baja and Belize that have limited ability to re-provision. So definitely find out that information before you head out. Once while in the remote Baja region, we pre-arranged for a dive master to come out with their dive boat and meet us to lead a dive about 3 days into the trip. We also cleverly arranged for him to bring us more ice at the time.
Here’s a list of extra things to make sure you provide for your boat
Trash bags (big tough ones)
Zip lock bags
salt and pepper
TP (probably more than the charter company provides)
More bug repellent
Cheap little hand towels
Rum (for your guests of course)
Once on the boat, the charter company will provide a check list, however also check these simple things that may not be on their check list:
Cooler that does not have a leaky drain. Very Important!
The charter company will probably supply all your bedding but it’s a good idea to check each cabin is supplied
Things to bring from home
Little 12v dc to 110v AC inverter if you want to charge iPod, cell phone etc that need 110 volts.
Some boats do have inverters or generators but do you really want the noise of a generator just to charge a cell phone?
A 12-volt splitter. This allows multiple 12-volt plugs to allow multiple devices to be charging at one time. Very important if you’re taking more than a few people on the trip. Everyone thinks their cell phone/iPod is more important than everyone else’s. You’re a hero when you pull one of these devices out of the bag.
European to American style plug adapter. (Many charter boats are made in Europe and thus have round style ac plugs. Check this but most of your chargers these days take 230 or 110 volts input so you’ll just need an adapter and not necessarily a transformer)
Hand-held GPS. Many charter boats have a GPS. Some don’t and some will be broken when you arrive or will break sometime during the trip
Cruising Guide and Anchorage Guide
A local area travel guide like Frommers etc.
Many times the charter co. will provide masks, snorkels and fins, however if you bring your own you’re guaranteed to have a good set.
Digital camera with extra memory sticks.
Cheap little hand towels. The charter co. will give each person two towels for the whole week. So these little towels can serve as face and hand towels and then finally as floor wiping towels.
Book of knots and short piece of line – for entertainment of the crew.
Deck of cards.
Other Fun stuff – we really have fun on our charters and we get into the mood. One time we took a Grinch suit.
On a catamaran, a good suggestion is to use a used towel as a floor mat just inside the doorway to the saloon. This eliminates sand and grime being tracked into the saloon area and throughout the boat.
Don’t bring from Home
A hard suitcase: There is just no room on the boat for it. Ensure you send out an email to your crew prior to the trip informing them of limited space and not to bring suitcases. Instead bring pack down and away duffle type, soft bags. Sometimes there is room at the base but they really don’t appreciate every charterer wanting to store bags in their small locker room for a week. (In that email we recommend that you recommend this Charter Clinic to your crew as well. They’ll learn lots of tips to help improve your experience as well.)
Only ten years ago America’s Cup contenders achieved around 13 knots boat speed. Now they are achieving close to 45 knots – in just ten years! Sailors in such a competition used to wear deck vests. Now they need body armor. Sailing is changing, fast.
Sailing Virgins is a sailing school born in this new environment: cool, fun, fast, and highly professional. With its core market of 20-40 year old adventurous professionals, the Sailing Virgins group quickly realized they would require a learning platform that suited the demanding lifestyles of people who don’t have a lot of free time and EXPECT 21st century cloud-based and App-based eLearning.
That’s why NauticEd and Sailing Virgins Work Well Together
As soon as a Sailing Virgins client signs up for a course, they are given online access to the NauticEd courses and can begin the theory component. No books; everything web and app based.
Then when students arrive at the Tortola, British Virgin Islands-based sailing school, they get straight on the boat and start sailing using their theory knowledge they have already gained (and passed the tests). Thus, exam day, which normally takes out most of a precious sailing day, is no longer a thing. When in the BVI it’s all about sailing – gaining confidence and competence (and a fair bit of partying).
Courses are one week in duration, starting on a Sunday morning and finishing on a Saturday at lunchtime. There are three streams; Awesome Crew (for people who are figuring out the basics), Bareboat Charter Master (for people who want to charter their own boats) and Advanced Coastal (for people wishing to do longer sails and work in the industry). The calendar of courses is shown here (https://sailingvirgins.com/calendar-20162017/)
What does a typical day look like for a student in this Tortola, BVI Sailing School?
Waking up in a bay, a pre-breakfast swim off the back of the boat is a good idea. Then it’s coffee, breakfast, and a talk about the day. The instructor, using teaching methods refined in aviation training, has a mandate to balance professional teaching methods with keeping things fun.
What about the instructors?
All Sailing Virgins instructors have done time either skippering, route managing and/or instructing for sailing phenomenon The Yacht Week. They are fun, young, smart, professional, and hand selected. They have instructor certifications from the most revered sailing associations in the world. They can’t help but bring a little of the Yacht Week spirit into their courses. What they are definitely NOT are crusty ol’ sailors with a bearded boat.
How do you get there?
What is the best way to reach the Virgin Islands? In Canada and the US there are direct flights from major east coast cities to St Thomas (STT). These include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York, Newark and Philadelphia. Other US cities (including Los Angeles and other west coast cities) can typically reach St Thomas with one connection.
From St Thomas it is an easy one hour ferry to West End, Tortola. Then you have arrived in the home of Sailing Virgins. Their base, at the Fish n Lime, is literally a walk from the ferry terminal. The Fish n Lime also has accommodation for anyone wishing to spend time before and after their course on land.
If you would like to know more about the courses offered by Sailing Virgins, click here. For a free e-book from them titled “How To Become A Professional Skipper” click here.
Welcome on board Sailing Virgins to the NauticEd Platform – your clients are going to love the whole experience.
At 2245 your GPS fixes your position at LAT 41 deg 01.75′ N and LONG 72 deg 48.40′ W. You are steering course 086 deg psc at a speed of 6.0 knots. At 2400 you fix your position at LAT 41 deg 04.2′ N and LONG 72 deg 38.85′ W. What were your set and drift?
Use the following
(1) Here is a pdf of the chart for you to work on
(2) On the chart, the variation is 14 deg W
(3) Since the problem says psc (per ships compass) we need to account of the ships compass deviation. In the NauticEd Coastal Navigation course exercises we used the following table.
Ships Compass Deviation Table
Set up the TVMDC table
D 2E C 086
Thus, your True heading on the chart is 074 deg T. Your water speed along this line is as given is 6 knots.
The time difference is 1 hour and 15 minutes = 1.25 hours. Thus in 1 hour and 15 minutes, you would travel 7.5 nautical miles.
Scribe a line 7.5 nm from the origin along 074 deg T line. This is your water position. The ground position is described by the GPS coords. Draw a line from your water position to the ground position. This is your 1.25 hour long current vector. It is headed due north and is 0.5 nm long. Since this happened in 1.25 hours the current speed is .5/1.25 = 0.4 nm/hr (knots).
Set (or Direction) is 0 deg T
Drift (or Rate) is 0.4 knots
Note: Current is always expressed in deg True and always expressed in the direction it is heading whereas wind is expressed as where it comes from. Note and remember the difference – important.
This is the start to a 10-day blog series sailing on a Lagoon 450 with the yacht charter company BVI Yacht Charters based in Road Town, British Virgin Islands.
The Indians, arh the Indians – my favorite. If you miss the Indians you have missed the BVI. It is an integral part of any trip here. It is a staple of the snorkeling diet – an appetizer of what is to come for the week. We just finished an hour with the head pointed down in colorful wonderment. Wow. (Click the Arrows for a slide show)
The Indians are generally the first stop on a BVI roundabout. They are 5 miles Southwest of Road Town. So your first sail is easy. Pop the main and the jib and an hour and a bit later you’re there.
While I’m writing this we’re parked up in The Bight in Norman Island.
The Bight Norman Island
The Bight, Norman Island
The day started as an awakening blur of yesterday’s travel. Not bad – 12 hours door to door from Austin, Tx to Miami to Saint Thomas, USVI. Then a haul ass to the ferry to catch the 3:30 ferry from Charlotte Amalie, USVI to Road Town, Tortolla. The last ferry was at 4:30 which coincided with catching BVI Customs closing at 6:00. Whew – basically seamless travel just a lot depends on things being on time which are out of your control like airlines.
At the end of it all, you sit back with a drink and say – Hey we’re on Island time, what does it matter? Stress has been banned from the Virgin Islands so you have leave your corporate training at home.
BVI Yacht Charters are located close to downtown Road Town – a really short taxi ride from the ferry terminal. Very convenient. And even more convenient, close to two Grocery stores RiteWay and OneMart. Most of the stuff you can order online through their websites and have delivered directly to your boat before you arrive. For the remaining items, you can take a short stroll to the store with a cold beer in hand.
Road Town BVI
Tony from BVIYC gave us our boat check out briefing this morning and after signing my life away, as usual, we were ready to head out. We were exempted from the chart briefing because … well… I did write the book on it. I had to laugh with Kirstie in the office when she said “I know you wrote the book on it but have you been here before”. She was right to ask – any area you go sailing, you need a familiarity with the area for two reasons: (1) to make sure you have a good time and take advantage of all there is to offer, and more importantly, (2) to make sure you know where all the dangerous stuff is. The NauticEd BVI Chart Briefing book and associated test is a comprehensive guide to sailing in the BVI. Those that have taken the test and passed it are able to skip the chart briefing and speed up the check-in process. In addition, it means you have all that information on hand.
I must say that the BVI check out crew were so efficient and awesome. The boat was immaculate and ready to go. They even lent us an audio jack cord for plugging in from the stereo to our iPhones (haa haa – everyone on our boat figured that each other would bring that cable – not one between all of us – don’t ever forget to bring a 3.5 mm audio jack to play your tunes.)
So, after a crew safety briefing, we released the dock lines and headed out. Yay. A short sail to Norman Island and my fav. the Indians.
For now, we are listening to a little Lyle Lovette in Pirates Bight, Norman Island. I hear some laughter on the front deck – I’m heading that way.
On shore in the Pirates Bight are two restaurants. Both are very (very) nice. Take a recently emptied credit card. But the experience and the beach is worth a visit at least.
On shore at Pirates Bight
At Willie T’s there is a universal singularity point. The laws of the universe are just different. What you think should apply, doesn’t. After drinks on the front deck of our boat, we moved to Willie T’s to observe this anomaly. But that is my point – soon observation turns into participation. If you can resist, the two things to try to avoid are: (1) the ski shots. This consists of a water ski with 4 shot glass holes drilled into the ski. When it comes off the ceiling 4 souls are drawn seemingly by magic to put their lips to a shots glass and the ski tips back on its own volition with the smooth liquid pouring down warm throats; (2) Rafter swinging – these do not end well. Assuming you’ve been working out at the gym, the challenge is to swing hand over hand along the steel rafters. The problem is that the rafters are rusty and all four crew members who tried and completed it (including one of our better-looking crew members) ended leaving the boat with less skin than they started with including yours truly. But at least the gym work paid off with a success grade in the swing. Skin was traded for self-esteem.
Willie T’s. A Universal Singularity
And, in case you don’t know about Willie T’s – William T. Thornton was the architect who designed the U.S. White House. His boat was purchased and permanently anchored in Pirates Bight. It is now a floating bar with a dinghy dock. They serve some food but the main focus is the bar. It is not really a family place if you get my points from above.
NauticEd and its expert team are global brokers for the best sailing vacations. We’ve been just about everywhere and know the best spots. We can arrange the best boats and the best prices. In particular, if you want to go to the BVI, we are absolute experts.
If you’re unsure about your competence, well we are the absolute best in the world to bring you up to a proper and safe level of knowledge, skills, education, and globally accepted certifications.
This is Day 6 of sailing in the BVI with BVI Yacht Charters for 10 days on a Lagoon 45 Catamaran
In the morning we snorkeled the coral garden in the north east end of Savannah Bay for a second time. See day 5 for a quick underwater video of the coral. This area is by far the best snorkeling area we found in the BVI. It is about 10 feet deep with towering coral columns. Awesome.
While the crew fluffed their aura readying for the day, I took the opportunity to shoot some video of how to operate a dinghy. I’ve found over all our dozens of trips all over this awesome planet that it is important to have your crew members know how to properly operate a dinghy. It’s just a really good idea and you will avert disaster. For example, you might know but you crew won’t understand just what happens if you let your dinghy get sideways to the waves at the beach.
Here is the great training video we created that we will put into our coming Bareboat Charter Crew Course.
Next stop a snorkel at Seal Dog. There is only one mooring ball there which is reserved for commercial dive boats. This is a designated dive by dive operators in the BVI. The water was clear and the snorkel was refreshing. Nothing too much to write home about in regards to snorkeling however. Still, it was a picturesque stop with clear clear water.
North Sound Virgin Gorda here we come!
On the sail there we called ahead to Levereck Bay Resort and made reservations for the Pig Roast that evening. They set aside a nice table in the sand for 8. Awesome. Meanwhile, while in North Sound we decided to do a pub crawl of the bars to check them all out. Why not?
North Sound Virgin Gorda
Saba Rock is a really nice restaurant and bar. I mean really nice. It is well worth a drink stop if not for lunch or dinner. They have a nice boutique gift shop for a few good souvenirs as well. BVI Coffee cup for me so that I remember this trip every morning when I get back. It helps keep life in perspective. Sometimes we all get mixed up on what life really is about. Speaking of perspective, from Saba rock you have a nice view of Sir Richard Branson’s world famous resort, Necker Island. Once Sir Rich invites me over I’ll write a nice blog about his resort. Looking forward to that. I’ve read his inspiring autobiography, “Loosing My Virginity” about building his life and I once saw him on the dock in Monaco walking onto his boat the Virginian and my brother is a pilot for Virgin so I think all that qualifies me for an invite right? Hint Hint Sir Richard!
Saba Rock, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Saba Rock, Virgin Gorda, BVI
From Saba Rock we dinghied over to the famous Bitter End for afternoon cocktails. They have a new Tiki bar outside on the beach which makes a good hang out. The entire Bitter End Yacht Club is a must must stop for a trip to the BVI and in fact it is tempting to stop there for 2 nights. They have water sports, really nice rooms for a potential night off the boat, multiple restaurants, a pub bar, a resupply store, water hose for the boat, probably a hundred mooring balls and generally all around nice atmosphere and good staff.
Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Bitter EndYacht Club, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Still, we needed to fulfill our pub crawl edict and so we pushed on over to the Fat Virgin Bar just around the corner in Biras Creek Bay.
At Fat Virgin, we enjoyed the most delicious Conch fritters and a few libations. Fat Virgin is a great little stop over and worth at least a drink and fritter. Now out of time, we pushed off and sailed back to Levereck Bay missing the last bar called Freddies Sand Box. Sorry Freddy – next time. Your place did look like a nice relaxing joint from the water however.
Freddies Sand Box Bar
Levereck Bay in the west end of North sound is also a must stop. They provide everything you need: water at the dock, ice, reprovisioning store, giant restaurant, and resort.
Levereck Bay, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI
At 7, we dinghied ashore where our table was ready right next to Jumbies Bar in a gorgeous setting. The pig roast is a giant amazingly great quality buffet with more food than you can think of. The cost is $35 which albeit quite expensive – you might as well do it. You’re on vacation after all. What is really worth it is the band the followed. It was a reggae/pop/cover band if you can think what that is. Anyway they were so good that can turn any song into fun. Then the real fun started; the Jumbies. They are a group dressed in brightly colored clothing on about 7 foot stilts. Oh wow – they got the party started. On the stilts they dance and do tricks and whoop up the crowd into a frenzy. They really made the night! Thanks Jumbies!!!!
This is a partial section out of our NauticEd Skipper Course and our NauticEd Coastal Navigation Course which discusses lights on ATONs. If you find this useful then perhaps you might consider taking either of the courses. Coastal Navigation is only $39 and covers most everything you need to know when navigating a yacht. When you pass the course it automatically adds to your NauticEd Sailing Resume.
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ATONs are Aids to Navigation. The term is primarily used in the United States and Canada. Most of the rest of the world refer to them as Navigation Marks.
Lights are installed on some ATONs. The lights are usually alternating on and off on some consistent interval to distinguish one ATON from another. The series of “ons” and “offs” are listed on the charts. This helps identify exactly which ATON you are observing. The time between each series is called a “period”.
Lighted ATONs are grouped into Flashing, Quick, Occulting and Isophase.
Flashing: A light in which the total duration of light in each period is clearly shorter than the total duration of darkness – and in which the flashes of light are all equal in duration.
Example: a quick flash on then a longer period off
Example: the flashes might be grouped meaning that the ATON flashes quickly a number of times followed by a longer period of dark then repeating.
Quick Light: A light turning on more than 60 (but less than 80 flashes) per minute.
Occulting: Showing longer periods of light than darkness (opposite of flashing)
Isophase: showing equal periods of light and darkness – remember that “iso” means same.
A Long Flash: (L Fl.) A light which exhibits a long flash of 2 seconds followed by a period of longer darkness.
Morse Code: (Mo. (letter)) A Morse coded letter
Colors of lights are listed with the ATON. They are red (R), green (G), yellow (Y), and white (W). Blue is reserved for law enforcement. Or if the color is not listed then it is white.
Examples of the various types are shown below:
There can also be a composite group flashing light. In the example below the green light flashes twice then one – then repeats after some time.
You can identify the lights on the charts from the information next to the light. In the example below, the Bifurcated Lateral Maker “U” flashes composite green twice then once every 6 seconds – Fl G (2+1) 6s, while the Green Lateral Can number “9” flashes green twice every 6 seconds – Fl G (2) 6s.
At night, you’ll be able to pick out the lights against their backdrop of city lights because of their alternating nature. In the example below you can see Fl G (2+1) 6s and Fl R (4) 6s. Notice however, that you have to concentrate on one at a time, so that the other does not distract you.
Here is a slightly visually annoying summary.
Fl R (2) 5s
Occ Fl R
Iso Fl R
Composite Fl (2+1) 6s
In most countries, including the USA, the white quick flashing light is used to mark Cautionary ATONS
Safe Water Marks
In many countries, including the USA, the Safe Water mark is used and is a white flashing Morse code “A”. One short followed by one long and then repeating at least 8 times per minute. Just remember A – ok.
But also, a safe water mark can be exhibited by other white lights as shown specifically on the chart.
A long 2 second flash over a 10 second period (L Fl. 10s) is also reserved for a safe water mark.
Special Purpose Marks
If a Special Purpose Buoy is lighted it displays a yellow light with fixed or slow flashing characteristics.
Isolated Danger Marks
If lighted, a white light shall be used and the chart will announce the flashing sequence. The image below shows Fl (2) 5s but this is just an example. Any time you see a white flashing light you should be on guard.
Sector lights are sectors of color that are placed on lantern covers of certain lighthouses to indicate danger bearings. On a chart, the sector bearings are true bearings according to the chart and must be converted from magnetic bearing if using a compass. A red sector indicates a vessel is potentially in danger of running aground. Note however, that red can be seen beyond the danger zone as well.
This is also seen here below in a real case of a Nautical Chart #12354 Long Island Sound Eastern Port. Can you spot the Red Sector light?
Spot the Red Sector Light
Cardinal Mark Lights
Cardinal Marks if lighted use white quick flash lights. They are easily remembered from thinking of a clock dial.
North – Continuous quick flash
East – 3 quick flashes (3 o’clock)
South – 6 quick flashes followed by a long flash (6 o’clock)
West – 9 quick flashes (9 o’clock)
Publications that list all the lights usually exist for each country. In the United States the Coast Guard publishes the Light List, which can be found at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightlists For your country, or the country you are visiting, just search on “coast guard light list (country)” or you might replace coast guard with navigation or atons.
Below is an excerpt. Each ATON is listed by number (from the index at the back of the light list), it’s name and any distinguishing location, its lat and long position, its characteristic, height (if it is a light house), the range that the light can be seen from, the type of structure and any remarks about the light.
Light List Excerpt
Putting It All Together
The graphic animation below shows what a harbor entrance may look like at night.
And the corresponding chart symbols might look like this below
Day six of seven: Sailing out from Athens with The Moorings on a Leopard 3900 Catamaran
Thursday Epidavros to Ancient Theater to Vathi
Clang Clang Clang go the Saxons to wake everyone’s ass up. We gotta get to the Ancient Epidavros Theater.
Well at least that was the intention. The crew was dancing pretty hard on the quay last night. Anyway by 9 am we were up and at em. It’s a 40 euro round trip taxi ride to the theater about 15 kms away from the port. Rather than talk about it too much here, here is an excellent youtube video on the Epidavros Theater.
Quick run down – it was built in the 4th Century BC yes that’s BC. What was interesting to me was to note how conceited we are in this day and age to think that nothing was going on back then. Here is an incredibly constructed theater that is an acoustic wonder. You can talk in the center stone at the bottom and be heard at the top. Dave stood in the center while we climbed all the way to the top. When we were ready, he began to sing Elton John’s “Money,” which was very rudely interrupted by the guards telling us that no one is allowed to smile or have fun (not really). Apparently you can’t sing or have fun there. Anyway, Dave was only one line away from the end when he had to stop. Everyone there clapped and appreciated his talent. Rules – bar hum bug.
Here’s the fun video we snapped of Dave Singing at The Ancient Epidavros Theater.
The theater seats 12,000 people who, in ancient times would come from miles away to indulge in the arts. And here we are in the 21st century thinking all smart and stuff but we still can’t figure out kindness and benevolence and stop warring with each other. Come on humanity – let’s up the game here a little shall we?
The museum next door to the theater was incredible – displaying ornate statues carved in marble which had been dug up from the ruins and recovered and restored. Truly amazing.
Back at the boat, I paid the port authority 2 euros and 30 cents for the mooring fee. Really? E2.30? The ice cream I bought next door cost the same. Compare that to the BVI where you often pay $US 30 for a mooring ball overnight.
In all, we’re all finding that this is a cheap holiday. So far with all the food, booze, taxi rides, ouzo shots and dinners out, we have spent a total of 1000 euros total for 5 of us. Oh and that includes the mooring fees as well.
I’ve always wanted to shoot this photo. Just my weird sense of humor. So here it is shot in the Port of Epidavros.
Down the Hatch
The motor sail over to Vathi for our next evening was about 6 miles on calm seas. The steep cliffs to the west display was another impressive array of wind turbines. A good time to think about how wind has shaped our past from ancient trading and discovery to awesome sailing vacations and generation of electricity to power our modern day “necessities”. Wind is cool!
Epidavros To Vathi
The tiny Port of Vathi is a must visit. It is a small port with space for 8 or so charter boats. You back up to the quay where there are 4 great little restaurants. The staff from the restaurant come out to help grab your docklines – so awesome (which makes you feel obliged to buy a round of ouzo shots from them).
Click the arrows for a slide show.
The bartender Micheaonos (something like that – everything ends in nos in Greek – no offense meant, rather our own ignorance to be able to pronounce things that don’t come off our English speaking tongue so well) suggested that we take a visit to a volcano not far away. Wow! What a highlight and a must do. The track is a bit steep and a bit rocky and a good trek after almost a week on the boat. The view from the top is impressive – we could see all the way to Athens. There is a crack in the rock wall that we were able to climb into. The crack turned out to be the vent of the volcano. Slightly scary for the weak at heart, but kinda cool to say you’ve been inside a volcano – albeit it hasn’t exploded since the 2nd century BC.
Fun Video of some BS we made up along the trail.
For dinner — my favorite, Anchovies and a Greek salad (again) – oh man, yum!
This was Day 6. I mean come on – what a day! These are the kinds of things you do on a trip like this. You just have fun – you sail a bit, you visit a piece of history, you meet cool people, and see cool things you did not expect. Ever thought about being inside a volcano vent?
Cock-a-doodle-doo goes the local town rooster. “Last day” he says in rooster talk. I want to kill him. This has been such an amazing trip. But still … another day of fun ahead.
Over a coffee in Vathi Port, I had a chat to our dock neighbors Di and John. A lovely retired couple from England who spend 4 months every year sailing their boat around the Greek islands. They leave in August they said because it gets too crazy with tourists and “bling” power boats. Next week they are heading up through the Corinth Canal over to the Ionian islands and up to Corfu to spend the rest of the summer. Note to self for retirement ideas!
Remembering the awesome coffee in Pardiki which coincidently is on the way back to Athens we left our Vathi home and set off for a quick stop in Pardiki to visit Remetzo restaurant rated 5 stars on Trip Advisor. They lived up to their rating with me with the Sardines, Baked Feta Cheese and Beetroot salad. Just don’t stir Greek Coffee – learned that one the hard way.
I feel like I am writing up a foodie tour of the Greek islands.
Perdika is about 20 nautical miles from the Athens Moorings Base in Marina Zea. At just over 6 knots (under power no wind L) will take just over three hours. We had to have the boat back by 5 into the marina so we left Perdika at 1pm leaving some time for time sake.
Here is a pic of the route I set up on my Navionics App on iPad showing we will be in by 3:56pm as we rounded the top end of Aigina.
Route To Athens
So this is it – last leg home. Boo!
Summary: A sailing trip around the Greek islands out from Athens is a huge bucket list item checked off. It was just big wow and a fantastic experience. From the people to the food, from getting 3 lbs of swordfish from a local fisherman to the gelatos and bakeries, from the quays to the back street ouzos at local bars, from the amazing sailing to the dead blue flat water of the Aegean sea and from the stories we created to the ones we can’t talk about – we all had an experience not to be missed.
Get trained up to go bareboat chartering.
Get trained up for Med moorings.
Get trained up for maneuvering under power.
Get your ICC license.
Get your butt on an airplane to Athens Greece.
If you want to book a charter to Greece or any other place, NauticEd is happy to help out. We’ve been to most charter destinations in the world and know the cool places to go. We are brokers for Sailing vacations – we don’t charge you a fee. You get the same price as going direct but… you get a ton of expertise and advice with the booking through us. Fill out our Sailing Vacation request form here
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The International Certificate of Competence
aka the ICC – How to get one
To gain the ICC is now a simple process.
You can do it in one of two ways. The first is a simple assessment of your theory knowledge and sailing competence by an RYA qualified instructor. The assessment takes one day. It is a pass/fail assessment whereby no instruction is given. See ICC Assessment details below.
The second is that you gain the RYA Day Skipper Certificate which automatically qualifies you for the ICC. Note: that you can not do this process with the ASA because the USA has not signed Resolution 40 and thus ASA is NOT authorized in anyway to issue any government Sailing or Boating License. Their IPC is not sanctioned or recognized by United Nations.
Gaining the ICC via the RYA Day Skipper Certificate Route
Watch this video which discusses the RYA Day Skipper Course.
First, pass the online RYA Day Skipper course at NauticEd. The course is quite extensive and covers everything required by the United Nations Resolution 40 which authorizes the ICC. See below for the UN knowledge requirements. No matter your experience, we also guarantee that you will gain some great sailing knowledge.
Once you pass the Online theory Day Skipper Course, you then attend one of 500 RYA sailing Schools in the world. North Americans should attend the Yachting Education RYA Training Center in Charleston, The Bahamas, or The US Virgin Islands.
The Online RYA Day Skipper Sailing Course
Complete the theory requirements for the RYA Day Skipper Course and ICC online at home
The NauticEd RYA Day Skipper online course requires a real person to take the time to grade your exam and that you do the exam with RYA Charts and an Almanac which we include in the cost of the course. Thus, the cost is a bit more than our regular other eLearning courses.
Essentially, the course is a combination of the NauticEd Skipper Course and the NauticEd Coastal Navigation Course ($95 combined cost). Thus, if you have already purchased these courses, you will gain an approximate equivalent credit for these courses when purchasing the RYA Day Skipper Course.
If the NauticEd courses are not in your curriculum we have provided an easy start method whereby you can gain access to the RYA Day Skipper course for less. For just $155 you gain access to the course and we send to you the RYA charts and materials. Note that you will not yet be able to submit your exam to our RYA instructor if you select this option. – Eventually, you will need to upgrade to the full pack ($195 upgrade) to submit the exam but at least this is a way to get started with a budget in mind.
The full RYA Day Skipper course if you want to start out properly is $350 (with appropriate credit automatically calculated for Skipper and Coastal Navigation Courses purchased prior). When you pass this course – you are issued with the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course and Exam complete certificate. Your practical time on the water after that is a breeze, you’ll be doing no exams on the water.
The RYA Day Skipper Practical Training
To complete the RYA Day Skipper Certification, take the 5-day vacation/learn to sail sailing course. By the end of the 5-day training, as long as you demonstrate competence to the standard then you will be issued the RYA Day Skipper Certificate. This automatically qualifies you for the ICC and NauticEd will arrange this for you upon passing the theory and Practical.
The one-day assessment is a slightly grueling assessment of your theory knowledge and practical competency. But don’t be intimidated, just make sure you know your stuff.
There is heavy emphasis on the theory knowledge of navigation (plotting courses, currents, tides, chart work, day and night ATONs and markers), passage planning, and navigation rules of the road in the assessment. Thus you should learn and get comfortable with this in the theory training online prior to the assessment. The last thing you want to do is fail. Most sailors can not “wing” this assessment without some study (even experienced sailors). Given this, our North American assessor will not allow you to test out of the assessment without having completed either the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master bundle of online courses or the RYA Day Skipper online theory course. He simply does not like to fail people but will if they try to wing it. For example, can you draw a North, South, East and West Cardinal Mark? What is the distinguishing light of a safe water marker or an isolated danger mark? Can you calculate at what time could you enter a shallow harbor given the tide almanac? Your sailboat under sail is overtaking a small powerboat on its port side, who must give way? In IALA-A is it Red Right Returning or Red to Red on Return? What about IALA-B? Given a specific current flow rate and direction changing over a tide cycle, could you plot a series of courses to arrive at a destination and estimate the time of arrival? What about fire extinguishers, can you name on the spot the best types of extinguishers for the type of fire?
In addition to the on-the-spot theory assessment, the assessor will test your practical competence including backing into slips, springing off the dock, and all aspects of maneuvering in the marina under power, your ability to lead a crew and give proper instructions using proper terminology for all types of sailing maneuvers.
Usually, we find the sailor is practically competent but are lacking on the specifics of the theory. This is why we strongly suggest the student to take the online classes prior to the event else your $400 assessment fee could be wasted. Additionally, we have schools worldwide who can give you training prior to the assessment.
(1) Doing the one-day on-the-water assessment with NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of online courses or the RYA Day Skipper online course.
(2) Gain the RYA Day Skipper Certificate via the RYA Day Skipper online course and the 5 day on-the-water training at an RYA training center. This automatically qualifies you for the ICC.
Which one do we recommend?
Well, it really depends on you. If you are open to learning new tricks and tips and get some solid formal training, you can not beat the full RYA Day Skipper route. If you think you know enough practical, then do the assessment with the Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses.
United Nations Resolution 40 ICC Standards for Knowledge
1. For the issue of an international certificate the applicant must:
(a) have reached the age of 16;
(b) be physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft, and in particular, must have sufficient powers of vision and hearing;
(c) have successfully passed an examination to prove the necessary competence
for pleasure craft operation.
2. The applicant has to prove in an examination :
(a) sufficient knowledge of the regulations concerning pleasure craft operation and nautical and technical knowledge required for safe navigation on inland waters and/or coastal waters; and
(b) the ability to apply this knowledge in practice.
3. This examination shall be held with regard to the zones of navigation (i.e. inland waters and/or coastal waters) and must include at least the following specific subjects:
3.1 Sufficient knowledge of the relevant regulations and nautical publications:
Traffic regulations applicable on inland waters, in particular CEVNI (European Code for Inland Waterways), and/or in coastal waters, in particular the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, including aids to navigation (marking and buoyage of waterways).
3.2 Ability to apply the nautical and technical knowledge in practice:
(a) general knowledge of craft, use and carriage of safety equipment and serviceability of the engine/sails;
(b) operating the craft and understanding the influence of wind, current, interaction and limited keel clearance;
(c) conduct during meeting and overtaking other vessels;
(d) anchoring and mooring under all conditions;
(e) maneuvering in locks and ports;
(f) general knowledge of weather conditions;
(g) general knowledge of navigation, in particular establishing a position and deciding a safe course.
3.3 Conduct under special circumstances:
(a) principles of accident prevention (e.g. man over board maneuver);
(b) action in case of collisions, engine failure and running aground, including the sealing of a leak, assistance in cases of emergency;