For my last week of class, I have being doing chart work. This course is definitely very applicable when it comes to navigating a ship.
When I say chart work, I am mainly referring to setting up a route that we will be taking to get from A to B. We do not use a “map”. We use what’s called a chart. It’s quite funny because if you say to any mariner “Oh, is that your map?”, they will look at you and tell you, “It’s not a map. It’s a chart”. I got this reaction a couple times from people. Once you learn how much work goes into making a chart, you can see why there is such emphasis on the proper terminology.
The difference between a map and a chart is that, the chart has measurements of latitude and longitude used for measuring distance. The more you learn about a chart, the more respect you have for who makes them. The precision that is used is incredible. There are things like depths of waters, distances of light houses and so much more on a chart.
Another thing we got to do for chart work and pilotage was put together a passage plan. We got to choose our groups and choose our route of where we were going. Victoria to English Bay was our route. I was very familiar with how to do the passage plan as when I was on Anthem of the Seas, this was something I was learning about. I found it so great to be doing this and being able to relate it to what I had learned on the ship.
The last thing that we learned in the course was how to use a sextant. This is a tool that is used for navigation. The tool was used many years ago! But! It is good to know the basics and the ships do still carry one on board just in case you lose all power. The sextant will help with finding out where you are. You can take bearings on both the stars and on terrestrial objects. We got to go out to the harbour, which is outside where the school is, and practice using the sextant. We did what’s called horizontal sextant angles. Once you take the angles, there us some basic math to do and you can therefore find your position.
Please note all thoughts and opinions are my own and do not in any way reflect those of Royal Caribbean.