Ask Captain Dave (#2)

Use our Contact Us form to send a question to Captain Dave – or send an email to Here is where we’ll put whatever answers Dave has time to reply to.

March 31, 2013

Q: “Hey Dave… when you motor do you also use sails? How does your strategy change?”

Dave Answers:  That’s a good question.  In some situations we need to use the motor along with the sails. When the wind is light and we are trying to make a scheduled time, or if the wind is directly on our nose – which it has been on this trip we use the main sail in a reefed or partial position, called “2nd reef.” This gives us some added stability and drive as we move forward into the waves and wind.

March 30, 2013
Q: “What does “Course 319″ mean in your position coordinates?”

Dave Answers:  We follow a compass course to get to where we want to go so we don’t go around in circles.  The needle on a compass is pulled to the North by the magnetic energy of the earth around the north pole. So, that needle stays permanantely pointed to the North. Even as we turn the boat from side to side. on board we are actually turning a disc that is marked into 360 equal parts … which we call degrees … and each of those degrees is counted from 1 to 360.  So, when we steer a course of “319 degrees,” we position the boat so it is going in that direction and we keep the compass, which floats and spins as we turn the boat … as close to 319 degrees as we can. Even though it does varry some … maybe 5 or 10 degrees in either direction – but over a long period of time, it keeps us going in a straight line.