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Old 19-10-2009, 18:03   #1
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Navigational Term ?

I have been reading a book about a man's transatlantic voyage and he keeps using a term that i can't wrap my head around. The phrase is "traveling (cardinal direction) BY (cardinal direction)" for example. I am traveling I am traveling W by WNW or W by NW....

Does this mean you are actually on a course steering toward NW but making good on a Westerly track? If not, could you dumb it down for me.
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Old 19-10-2009, 18:43   #2
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Originally Posted by Dinghy101 View Post
I have been reading a book about a man's transatlantic voyage and he keeps using a term that i can't wrap my head around. The phrase is "traveling (cardinal direction) BY (cardinal direction)" for example. I am traveling I am traveling W by WNW or W by NW....

Does this mean you are actually on a course steering toward NW but making good on a Westerly track? If not, could you dumb it down for me.
I'm not sure but I always thougth it meant to split the difference. W by NW would be WNW. Or 292.5 degrees. W by WNW would be 281 and a bit.

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Old 19-10-2009, 18:55   #3
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In "Olden Days" the compass was divided into 32 "Points" identified beginning with North, North by East (11.25*), North-Northeast (22.5*) etc. around the compass. For mor infornmation see Boxing the compass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

FWIW...
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Old 19-10-2009, 18:58   #4
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I agree....and think it's a general directional term..as well......it's a long voyage.....you're always adjusting course it's more practical in a book format to talk about general direction. Like, birds fly south for the winter....?
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Old 20-10-2009, 15:39   #5
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Thanks for clarifying that. learned something new again.

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Old 20-10-2009, 16:05   #6
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The "Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea" Edited by Peter Kemp, as follows:
Cardinal Points--the four points of north,south, east and west on a magnetic compass card. The points halfway between these-northeast, southeast, southwest and northwest-are known as half-cardinal points.

An indispensible book of nautical terminology IMHO. The ISBN # is 0-19-282084-2 if interested. Cheers:
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Old 20-10-2009, 16:34   #7
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sabreKai has it....
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Old 20-10-2009, 17:10   #8
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Thanks y'all.

Will check out wikipedia for more info about it.
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Old 20-10-2009, 17:15   #9
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In fact, that wikipedia link above clears it up perfectly. Makes sense too as the gentleman whose book i was reading was british.

THANKS!
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