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mckee
11-25-2010, 02:22 PM
I just signed up and introduced myself and someone commented that as a user of nautical charts I might be able to help folk out in that field. So here's the short background. I sailed for years as a deck officer on sailing vessels (10ft-175 ft), and am a USCG licensed capt, and an internationally certified watch officer. I've done a ton of dead (deduced) reckoning, and bunch of celestial navigation, coastal piloting, and of course modern navigation. SO that said, if you have historical/traditional sailing or navigation questions fire away.

The Extreme Nautical Trivia source is right here. Let me know if you all have questions about charts old or new, or various methods of navigation (historical, or not)... the sextant is on the shelf next to me, the compass is around here somewhere, and the backstaff hangs on the wall in the shop.

Ascension
11-25-2010, 03:57 PM
With a background like that don't feel too shy about commenting when you see something askew...chime right in. You know more about certain things than many of us and that sort of info is valuable.

pamoa
11-25-2010, 05:05 PM
wow what a curriculum
welcome on board

mckee
11-25-2010, 05:14 PM
The only thing all that means is that my job skills are 200 years out of date :)

Ascension
11-25-2010, 05:51 PM
Wasn't there a Jimmy Buffett song sort of like that, "A pirate 200 years too late"?

Jaxilon
11-25-2010, 06:00 PM
Welcome aboard matey :)

mckee
11-25-2010, 06:03 PM
@Ascension... yes there is... however its always dicey asking a member of the American Merchant Marine about pirates :)

@Jaxllon... thanks

Korash
11-26-2010, 07:02 PM
Well, I am sure that you will have a good time here. If it is a map, we want to do it right. Or help you make it right.

And on that note, I actually have a question for you.

I am running a game where the characters have pirates as a major foe and these pirates are located in a bay with tides much like the Bay of Fundy. I have placed low tide at about 10 feet and high tide somewhere about 25 feet (reasonable or not I have no idea). I was thinking that the bay basically a huge sandbank just under the water with some land permanently above where the pirates have made their bases. The sandbanks are very mutable in that they move around and very rarely stay visible for long. The pirates have a way of tracking where the deep water is and the PCs are to find a map (old) of the deep water.

Now for my question: Are there symbols, and what would they be, that would show this sort of place? Symbols that would be hand drawn preferably.

Thanks for the lend of your nautical wisdom.

Talroth
11-26-2010, 08:22 PM
Well, I am sure that you will have a good time here. If it is a map, we want to do it right. Or help you make it right.

And on that note, I actually have a question for you.

I am running a game where the characters have pirates as a major foe and these pirates are located in a bay with tides much like the Bay of Fundy. I have placed low tide at about 10 feet and high tide somewhere about 25 feet (reasonable or not I have no idea). I was thinking that the bay basically a huge sandbank just under the water with some land permanently above where the pirates have made their bases. The sandbanks are very mutable in that they move around and very rarely stay visible for long. The pirates have a way of tracking where the deep water is and the PCs are to find a map (old) of the deep water.

Now for my question: Are there symbols, and what would they be, that would show this sort of place? Symbols that would be hand drawn preferably.

Thanks for the lend of your nautical wisdom.

Parts of the Bay of Fundy have tidal ranges of around 50 feet. However it is a fairly special case caused by the shape of the land that then funnels water to create the extreme tides.
As for a symbol? Really depends on the chart type. What era are you looking at? Shifting sands and unreliable channels have been marked different ways by different map makers.

mckee
11-26-2010, 08:30 PM
Hang in there and I will give you a decent answer, maybe tonight.

jbgibson
11-26-2010, 08:47 PM
I've got a pirate question, of sorts. I know nautical charts were consiered state secrets in some eras. How much disinformation went on? I mean outright publiction of bad data, intended to wreck ships and inhibit access... say, the publicly available version intentionally leaked to pirates and such rifraff, vs. correct ones carefully held, sink it or burn it instead of permitting its capture, etc.

mckee
11-26-2010, 09:07 PM
@Talroth... I wasnt critiquing your answer just didn't see it. To slow to post, baby's are distracting. And I am not sure I have a better answer w/o spending a ton of time doing specific research. Tide and current data is generally kept seperate from charts, there might be a note or symbol suggesting that the mariner look at the local Pilot books (where all kinds of local knowledge is usually found). Check out U.S. Chart #1 for modern guidelines.

Regarding state secrets... Oh yes was there ever disinformation. The Spanish published a chart that suggested that the Sea of Cortez connected to San Fransisco Bay! Log books, pilot books, and charts that officers had drawn were well guarded, and I imagine would have been destroyed (at least in the case of military or corporate info) rather than let it fall to the competition. That said were are drifting out of my area of expertise.

Korash
11-27-2010, 10:11 PM
I was thinking of middle ages to the era of the Caribbean pirates. That is a bit of a wide range, but not too sure just where to peg these pirates yet......I do know they are led by an Orc and have some non human like races as captains so say "rough" would be best....

mckee
11-27-2010, 10:19 PM
Rough...

I've read several accounts written by officers in the past (most of my reading falls in the 17-19 century stuff) of officers beating the *&^% out of crew members. I remember a passage in one book by a U.S. capt in the late 1700 or early 1800s who said something along the lines of... "and I only had to beat the entire crew bloody with a hand spike once, and then they were a good lot"

It was a very rough profession.

Korash
11-27-2010, 10:27 PM
I always thought that the captains of that time and earlier often ruled by fear ("...but by God he was fair") in order to not be mutinied.....

And i just noticed the you still have the Grey Pip of the Unknown......Hold on and I will fix that for you..... *BONK*