When sea kayaking, we often need to work out how long it will take to paddle a set distance as part of our trip planning, or when we need to change our plan during the journey. Assuming that we are not affected by wind or tide we can use the following quick calculation which is easy even when underway.
Remember, these calculations are for the average sea kayaker who paddles at approximately 3 knots (3 Nm/hour). You should check your own speed before applying the following formula. On your chart or map, measure the distance you are going to paddle. Take this measurement and multiply it by 2, then multiply this figure by 10 to give the number of minutes it will take to reach your destination.
Example 1, to paddle 3 Nm -
3 x 2 = 6, 6 x 10 = 60 minutes.
Example 2, to paddle 5.5 Nm -
5.5 x 2 = 11, 11 x 10 = 110 minutes.
Sea kayak navigation can seem complicated at first, but there are plenty of quick tricks like this which make the mental arithmetic very easy. You can learn many of these by enrolling on a BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course with Greenland or Bust.
The aim of this one-day classroom based program is to give participants the necessary tools to plan and navigate effectively on coastal journeys in moderate ocean conditions. Upon completion, each student should have planned at least two coastal journeys that they can take home as reference for further personal trip planning. This course is designed to compliment areas covered in the BCU 4 Star Sea Award training and is a prerequisite for assessment.
Get in touch if you are interested in completing a similar training course or just wish to look at your skills development in a boat.