STEP IT UP
To ply the nooks and crannies of the Caribbean and other skinny-water venues, a perch up the ith the almost universal use of GPS and chart plotters, eyeball navigation has largely been forgotten, and in some cases, the result has been disastrous. One can argue endlessly over paper versus e-charts, but one thing’s certain: Over-reliance on electronic navigation supports the local salvagers.
Note the case of a Swan 90
Wmast provides a bird’s-eye view of what lies ahead.
hard aground on the western side of Antigua’s Spithead Channel. The grounding occurred because the skipper was looking at his chart plotter rather than using eyeball navigation. The salvage and repair costs ended up in the $800,000 ballpark.
If you use common sense — not heading west to enter
When sailing through shoaly, reef-strewn areas, eyeball navigation skills are imperative. Mast steps make it easy to gain a higher vantage point in order to spot a way through a pass or around a sandbar.