While we were cruising we found that working on navigation skills, and on understanding and interpreting weather, were among the most fascinating and satisfying aspects of the cruising life. We learned how to do inland, coastal, offshore, and celestial navigation. We did not rely on the GPS until we felt competent in all of these areas. In fact, in our beginning days, while we may not have known what we were doing, we always knew where we were. Good job because, if navigation or the weather goes bad or gets ignored, a boat and its crew can get into trouble fast. We know several to whom that happened. It's too easy to make fateful mistakes when one is tired or seasick--and we considered navigation so important that we always checked each other's work and likewise always planned our navigation ahead of time. Painless way of putting points into the Black Box, we thought.
Here is how we went about various aspects of navigation. We hope that these ideas might be useful to other cruisers.
"When you think you have the answer, you've lost your capacity to listen"