We've invited Paul Cuss, Director of RiverIsle Ltd to provide a guest blog, exploring how the latest technology can enhance the process of keeping a journey log. Here boating technology expert Paul outlines the fantastic additions that can be made today, to help you remember everything about your boating trip.
We all know that memories of boating trips can fade, no matter how significant and remarkable the experience was at the time. The diverse weather and sea conditions, the spectacular sun sets, first sight of land, unusual wildlife, ports discovered and friendships forged all contribute to memorable voyages. Unfortunately, the sensations lose their vibrancy, the facts disperse and the timeline of events becomes confused, with photographs alone often not fully capturing the nature of the journey.
For seasoned sailors, log entries have long been the conventional way to record a voyage at sea, but, although the advent of GPS has dramatically improved accuracy, these penned notes can often be rushed and roughly scrawled, containing the bare minimum of information. They may in fact never be re-read, left with a growing pile of used logbooks at the bottom of a locker.
For those who do not own their own boat or who may be enjoying an annual cruise or one-off trip on the water, the idea of writing entries in a logbook may not have even crossed their mind. They will instead rely on the skipper to plot and track the journey, and the possession of a few photos by which to remember the experience.
The ability for anyone with an iPad or iPhone to use mobile technology and GPS to track their journey has completely lifted the restrictions and limitations of the traditional logbook by allowing anyone from experienced sailors and boaters, to those progressing through the training levels to occasional or one-off travelers over water to record voyages, store data and share experiences.
WaveTrax™ - revolutionizing the log book
We believe our logbook app WaveTrax™ has revolutionized how the logbook is viewed as it can be used by anyone to record accurate data and then enhance their entries with annotations, images and weather information. This comprehensive record can be further adapted using the web-service and shared using various social media links.
We embarked on a recent trip down the River Thames to the apt location of Greenwich, home to the UK’s National Maritime Museum, to test our latest version of the app due to be released soon. It was also a good opportunity to visit the on-going exhibition, ‘Ships, Clocks and Stars: The Quest for Longitude’, to provide some understanding of how far we have come in using technology from the early foundations of knowing where you are at sea, an essential part of keeping an accurate sea log.
Using the App when touring a major city location can be fun and the stop start of a fast Catamaran trip down the River Thames plus a multitude of awesome sights to be captured from a new perspective gave us the perfect opportunity to put the whole App, and editing from home later on, to the test. You can see a copy of the test Ship’s Log here http://www.wavetrax.com/thames-river-test/ and it shows all aspects of the WaveTrax App being used to the fullest extent.
Nothing can beat real world testing which showed our developments to improve sync speeds appear to have produced the results we want. These will all help users avoid the pitfalls of broken journeys, or very long journey log management.
The evolution of the marine charts and logs from early notes and dead reckoning is a slice of history in which all mariners should take an interest. We are now able to rely on the certainty of logs and charts produced using accurate latitude and longitude and now on today’s sophisticated computer and navigational technology.
When you are out on the high seas and your electronic aids fail you, you may need to turn to the old ways of using clocks and stars so that you are not lost and can find a way home.
WaveTrax is available through the iTunes store (search for ‘sailing logbook or marine logbook’), where the app can be downloaded to iPhone or iPad. For more information or to purchase the web service, visit www.wavetrax.com.