On Water Navigation class, had perfect conditions for real navigation. We were paddling in the fog, in some places with almost zero visibility. There was a real exercise where the class calculated a course across part of Annapolis Harbor where we were out of sight of shore for about 20 minutes. It was only a short crossing, but very realistic. We found a place close to shore where we could locate our position on the chart, then locate the entrance to the harbor. They looked at options, take the long way and stay within sight of shore, or calculate a course straight across the cove. Of course we went for the straight line approach. There was minimal wind, and very little current, but we still calculated a safety factor… and of course, they nailed it.
Once we were in the bay, the fog lifted slightly. We worked on identifying where we were based on the contours of the shoreline and our compass headings. After lunch the fog lifted and we were able to see the scenery we missed on the paddle out. Here we could practice using ranges to hold a straight line course and see the aids to navigation in the harbor that we missed on the way out. Overall, a great learning experience.