Bearings of Objects


This is THE OFFICIAL WAY  to tell your Helmsman that there is a big log or windsurfer somewhere near your boat.  Your crew would yell: "swimmer, 243 meters away,  three points off starboard bow.  Or maybe it would be" Kayak, 30 feet Dead Ahead".  or say:"speedboat 300 meters one point off port quarter, overtaking us". 

This has worked, but by the time you both have figured out your fwd and aft points of each of the 4, you may have moved on past the danger, or smashed into it, and be taking on water and busy getting the dingy out of the hatch and finding the pump to inflate it. While the skipper is fitting a spinaker down over the whole hull to put your leaking boat into a baggie. 

Objects you can hit are: Chips, twigs, branches, fishing float, tide line, styrofoam

Objects to avoid are: logs, trees, Channel markers, bellbouys, kelp beds

Objects that will sink you are:  boats, ships & containers,  rocks, pilings sandbars, kayaks, canoes swimmers & lighthouses.


 To communicate with  Landlubbers, is tell them to use the clock. Everyone knows a clock. Just lay it flat on the water- you are moving toward 12 oclock always... Tell them; if there is an object in the water, like a whale or log,  they shout to tell you where on the face of a clock it is,  and if you were steaming toward it, how many minutes it would take to hit it.  So a floating telephone pole in front of you would likely be yelled as: "log , 12 oclock 2 minutes". Or"Log 12:30, 5 seconds". 

That way the skipper, can jam the tiller over in due time, the right direction, so you don't spill your drinks.  A whale breaching off in the channel would be "Whale, 4 oclock, 3 minutes".  A speedboat behind is: "Speedboat 7 oclock 30 seconds". You see the important thing is how soon you hit it, not whatever distance it is away.  If you want conversation, then make a cup of tea and surmise about colors & shapes and things the object at 9 oclock, 15 minutes, reminds you of. 


 Of course, if it is a BC Ferry, it will always blow a whistle and hit you 6 minutes after you think you see it. Log barges are there for you to tie up and take a snooze. Tugboats just run over you or chase you ;-)


If there is an object in the sky, you first specify the ' how far to turn your head' ,  then say 'where to look up or down'. So, crew can say: "Albatross, 8 oclock, 10 oclock high.  A dolphin would be yelled as:"Dolphin 2 oclock, 4 o’clock down ." 

But if you really want to play nautical here ya go : 

Bearings to bow of vessel

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