Wednesday, February 11, 2015


11 February 2015

We've been out of Mayaguez for two days now and if feels wonderful to have the ship moving below our feet as we push into a westerly breeze, Cuba on our port side and the Bahama Bank to starboard.
Later today we'll transit a narrow waterway known as the Old Bahama Channel. The channel was once a dreaded passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the Straits of Florida, proven by the vast number of wreck symbols on the chart, and at one location, the rusting hulk of an old ship is still visible. But today the channel is not feared because of modern electronic navigation systems -namely GPS. 

Years gone by there were very few shore lights to help the navigator, and during the day time land was far off, and low lying to add to difficulty for visual or radar navigation. As late as 1985, when GPS was just coming into service, the old Loran-C radio stations produced lines of position that met at very acute angles, giving dubious positions. But today, like the convenience enjoyed by motorists everywhere, GPS shows the way clearly and definitively.

Today is training day 21, only three to go before we start examinations. But before that we'll visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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