It kind of felt like Christmas when I checked my mail today! I had ordered these books a few days ago to use them for research and training. One of them, How to Read a Nautical Chart: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Using Electronic and Paper Charts was mentioned on another sailing blog I follow and it caught my eye very quickly due to the nature of the book.

Since I’ve got no sailing experience [yet] and I have no idea how to read a nautical chart, I thought it’d be a great idea to jump in and give it a shot. This book interested me, too, because it mentioned using paper nautical charts and electronic charts. In this age of electronics, I’m sure I’ll be using at least some electronic charts or GPS. But I’m not naive enough to think that I’ll be able to rely completely on electronics…especially since we’ll be living on a boat and eventually something will get wet, lost overboard, or just stop working. So I think it’s a smart idea to have [and know how to use] the paper nautical charts. Plus, using those paper charts seems like it’d make me a more involved sailor, if that makes any sense.

The second book, The Complete Book of Sailing Knots also contains a wealth of information that I know I’ll need to be knowledgeable about. I did a lot of rock climbing in my youth, very steadily from about seventeen years old until twenty two, then infrequently until I was about twenty seven. So I’m familiar with some of the knots in the book, but there’s many in there I’ve never heard of, much less know how to use them. I looked through the book briefly and got a couple strands of rope and worked a few of the knots just for fun. I know that with time I’ll be able to remember not onlt how to tie these knots, but in what instances to use which knot. I’m sure there’s some sort of “basic set” of just a few that are routinely used, so I’ll just initially need to figure out which those are and start there.

Anyone have any input on which knots I should start with? The ones that are most used? Thanks!