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Public Education Course: How to Read a Nautical Chart

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How to Read a Nautical Chart is a four hour course that will help you

unravel the mystery of charts.

When navigating on land you use a map. It depicts the various

thoroughfares, their directions and names. Major landmarks such as

parks, lakes etc. are also shown. By identifying with each of these

landmarks and following printed routes, you would be able to reach a

desired destination.

At sea there are no equivalent landmarks, and no routes. And, if you are

far offshore, with no land mass on the horizon, everything looks the

same. For navigating at sea, we use a chart, and we navigate by

reference to what we can see, and often by what we cannot.

Nautical charts give us the "landmarks of the sea" – buoys, markers,

shoreline features, water depth, bottom type, magnetic compass

variation, and the latitude and longitude of these features. By knowing

our latitude and longitude, we can locate our position anywhere on earth.

Charts also warn us of dangerous areas, enabling us to determine safe

passage – if we know how to read the chart and use the information we

find there.

This course will provide the navigator with the knowledge to interpret a

chart’s contents to navigate safely to his or her destination and return to

port. Practice chart is included and used with practical problems that are

reviewed as part of the class

Havre de Grace Maritime Museum
100 Lafayette St
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
United States

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