If you enjoy boating in unfamiliar waters as much as we do, you will quickly find that a GPS can be your best friend. Oftentimes the recreational boater finds that reading compass headings and nautical charts are daunting tasks. With this in mind, we developed Florida By Water with one of the main goals as providing GPS coordinates for every location. This give you the ability to pinpoint the destination that you are trying to find. However, many of us quickly become confused with the new terminology such as waypoints, tracks, and routes. This article will provide you with a few of the basic skills need to navigate to your chosen location. Please note this is in no way a compressive document on the Nautical Navigation.
Basic Terms in Plain English
Waypoint: A waypoint is a specific location such as a restaurant, marina, or boat ramp. When you look at a location at Florida By Water you will find the GPS coordinates for that location. This will be a waypoint that can be added to your GPS. For example, if you were in Key Largo and wanted to snorkel at “Christ the Abyss” you would enter this waypoint into your GPS: 25.1242155, -80.2974027. Your numbers on your GPS may look different and we will explain those differences in a minute. Anyhow, to get to the location, simply enter the waypoint and follow the GPS map to that waypoint. One thing to keep in mind is that your GPS will take you there by a direct line, which in many cases, in not a very viable option.