When the compass was first invented, it revolutionized navigation. There was finally a way to tell directions at sea without using the sun and the stars.
For hundreds of years, the compass became the basis for ded reckoning to keep a boat on course as they sailed across the sea.
The compass has fallen into relative disuse with the advent of electronic navigation which gives true courses, cross track error, and location on planet ocean within a few feet.
I still use my compass to maintain my orientation when I sail offshore and drive overland in my Land Rover Defenders.
Lot's of different compass roses have been used over the years.
When the first European compass roses were constructed in Italy, the points on the compass were related to wind direction that they experienced in the Mediterranean Sea. Hence, they created 8 wind, 16 wind, and 32 wind compass roses.
Wikipedia explains the 8 wind, 16 wind, and 32 wind compass roses in the following description:
8 Wind Compass Rose
The four cardinal directions are north(N), east (E), south (S), west (W), at 90° angles on the compass rose.
The four intercardinal (or ordinal) directions are formed by bisecting the above, giving: northeast (NE), southeast (SE), southwest (SW) and northwest (NW).
The eight principal directions are 45° from the next. These form the 8-wind compass rose which is used today.
16 Wind Compass Rose
The eight half-winds are the direction points obtained by bisecting the angles between the principal winds. The half-winds are north-northeast (NNE), east-northeast (ENE), east-southeast (ESE), south-southeast (SSE), south-southwest (SSW), west-southwest (WSW), west-northwest (WNW) and north-northwest (NNW). The name of each half-wind is constructed by combining the names of the principal winds to either side, with the cardinal wind coming first and the intercardinal wind second.
The eight principal winds and the eight half-winds together form the 16-wind compass rose, with each compass point at a 22 1⁄2° angle from its two neighbours.
32 Point Compass Rose
The sixteen quarter-winds are the direction points obtained by bisecting the angles between the points on the 16-wind compass rose.
The quarter-winds are: (in first quadrant) north by east (NbE), northeast by north (NEbN), northeast by east (NEbE), and east by north (EbN); (in second quadrant) east by south (EbS), southeast by east (SEbE), southeast by south (SEbS), and south by east (SbE); (in third quadrant) south by west (SbW), southwest by south (SWbS), southwest by west (SWbW), and west by south (WbS); (in fourth quadrant) west by north (WbN), northwest by west (NWbW), northwest by north (NWbN), and north by west (NbW).
All of the points in the 16-wind compass rose plus the sixteen quarter-winds together form the 32-wind compass rose.
In summary, the 32-wind compass rose is yielded from the eight principal winds, eight half-winds and sixteen quarter-winds combined together, with each compass direction point at an 11 1⁄4° angle from the next.
In the mariner's exercise of boxing the compass, all thirty-two points of the compass are named in clockwise order.
Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.
Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.
If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.
Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.
Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.
Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.
After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.
Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.