Sounds like another situation where the sailor is trying to use equipment
that is not appropriate to the situation. In the OP's situation that is a totally visual navigation situation. You need to be physically aware of where you are and the effect of the current
and leeway of the boat to determine your next "aiming point" after each tack. The suggestions to use a "waterproof chart" or at least a plastic zip-lock baggie (the 2-gallon size are great) to hold your folded paper chart is the proper solution.
- - Because of variation in winds, currents and other factors - pre-planning turning points is not viable or even possible. What about intervening traffic, you have to alter course to avoid other vessels - so you will need to determine each leg "real-time" and adjust for all the above mentioned factors. This is how you become a real navigator.
- - Reviewing and being thoroughly familiar with the obstacles / depths / shore-line shape and landmarks before you leave the dock/shore is critical to a successful and enjoyable sail. Occasional glances at your paper chart in its "zip-lock" or other baggie will refresh in your mind what is ahead on the next leg.
- - Unless you have somebody else on-board who is actually sailing the boat you will not have time to do plotting, etc. Besides, the idea is to enjoy the sailing of the boat and pay attention to traffic and other things around you - not keep your head
down playing with charts and plotting tools.