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Old 07-07-2011, 12:58   #1
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Traditional Navigation in the North Pacific

The Pacific Voyager canoes are here in Kauai, getting ready to head off to San Francisco. Talking to one of the navigators yesterday. They are supposed to use traditional navigation--sun, stars, wind, waves, currents, birds, sealife, etc. He said that they know the South Pacific, but don't know the North, and they were looking for anyone with knowledge that they could pass on.

So, anyone on the forum who has spent enough time out there to contribute something useful for them?? They know about going north around the Pacific High, but what else--water temperature, fog, fish, birds?? How do they know when they are getting close to the coast? I am doing the trip next month, but other than navigating by trash in the ocean, I can't help them.
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Old 09-07-2011, 17:08   #2
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Re: Traditional Navigation in the North Pacific

Not a lot of traditional navigators around...

We had another chat with the navigator, and about all we could come up with was:

1. Better to be too far north than too far south
2. Fog bank means you are within about 100 miles of the coast
3. Sea gulls means you are within 25 miles.
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Old 09-07-2011, 18:32   #3
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Re: Traditional Navigation in the North Pacific

Going over the top of the North Pacific high: turn left for more breeze and a longer distance, right for less breeze and less distance, avoid the center of the high as it oscillates north and south.

As one nears the northern California or Oregon coast gales may be encountered. Also the diurnal shifting of seabreeze by day and landbreeze by night will be noticed. In the early morning the land might be smelled. The prevailing wind will shift from W to WNW to NW to maybe even NNW during the last 500 miles to the coast.
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