Thursday, January 10, 2013

BCU Course: Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning

We offer a number of BCU training and assessment courses across the UK, US and Europe. Please visit our Events page to see when classes you can join in on might be running. These programmes are also available on demand for groups of friends and clubs so get in touch to discuss dates. Here is one such course we provide - Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning.

Description: The aim of this one-day classroom based training programme is to give participants the necessary tools to plan and navigate effectively on open water journeys in advanced sea conditions. It is suitable for paddlers wishing to improve their seamanship knowledge and ocean awareness in order to undertake challenging journeys that may include islands over 2 nautical miles offshore in areas of strong tidal movement of 3+ knots and/or winds of up to force 5 . 

Upon completion, each participant should have planned at least two journeys involving open crossings that they can take home as reference for further personal trip planning. This course is designed to compliment areas covered in the BCU 5 Star Sea Award training and is a prerequisite for the BCU 5 Star Sea assessment

The course will include the following aspects:

• Interpreting sources of information required to plan trips.
• Vector calculations and applying them to open crossings.
• Tactics for negotiating coastlines with no landing zones and/or tide races and overfalls.
• Advanced pilotage techniques in poor visibility or hours of darkness.
• The role of the coastguard
• Planning tasks and practical exercises

Prerequisites: Completion of a BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course, or recognised equivalent.

Essential Student Resources: Participants need to bring the following items - Silva Type 4 compass or similar. 2B Pencils & Eraser. 30 cm Ruler. Note pad. Personal charts and Topographic maps. Sea kayak navigation aid.

Recommended Reading:  Please feel free to bring any other books that have helped you with this subject

• BCU Coaching Handbook (Chapter 15 - Sea Kayaking) - Franco Ferrero, Pesda Press.
• Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation - David Burch, Globe Pequot.
• Sea Kayak Navigation - Franco Ferrero, Pesda Press.
• Welsh Sea Kayaking - Jim Krawiecki & Andy Biggs, Pesda Press.

BCU Information: For syllabus details, visit the BCU website.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail:

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