It is a fact that since the GPS has appeared more and more skippers have began to be indifferent or even completely ignore the traditional and foremost nautical instruments such as the compass, the divider and the parallel ruler. Their commitment in the electronic "magical" box, which gives us information about everything, is so big that the compass is now a romantic and yet decorative element of Ribs. Therefore, a new danger has come up hiding behind the "blind'' trust in satellite navigation.
A few years ago, four friends started to make a trip with a 7m rib for about four days. The weather was nice and we were travelling at a speed of about 30 knots, enjoying the lovely cruise in the waveless sea when.... suddenly and without any warning, the engine turned sharply right and the rib started to make circles.
During the winter period, over the Mediterranean basin, several low pressure systems are formed, that result in volatile and bad weather patterns, which are made even worse by the influence of this season's low temperatures.In contrast, during the summer, the distribution of the pressure systems in the Mediterranean is very different, smoother and relatively stable.
Any trip, no matter how short it may be, requires very careful planning which should start long before we release our favourite bowlines that keep us safe in our harbour. Definitely a long trip requires more hours of preparation and possibly extra equipment. However the seriousness of the approach must be exactly the same. The sea by itself demands respect and attention.
The sea state is defined by the characteristics of the waves at a particular location in a specific moment. To better define it, we have to identify the wave height (meters), being the same assigned by the average value of the trough of the wave crest height and the wave period (seconds), which is the average time interval between the passage of successive wave crests.
Going through the era of satellite navigation, we observe that it has gained a great role among us, sidelining inevitably the nautical art which, until a few years ago, constituted the basis of every voyager, depriving them at the same time of a big part of the magic of the voyage!