Compass riddle

So I am paddling around Acadia National Park, and I decide it’s worthwhile to put the compass on because of the opportunity to practice navigation and the chance of fog. I’ve got the spray skirt on, and I put the sea Compass about 4 inches away from the front of the cockpit. If it goes too far forward I cannot read the dial, even with my progressive lenses.

The visibility is fine and after a few miles I don’t even need the GPS to tell me this compass is more than 35 degrees off, and in a direction opposite true north. Of course (see what I did there) the compass is aligned with the bow of the boat. There is nothing but a few bottles of Gatorade in the hull near the compass and nothing magnetic in my clothing.

There was a real easy fix while I was paddling. What do you think the problem was?

You’re from the west coast…

the compass is fine
it reads magnetic north not true and the deviation in Acadia is 18 degrees west

Also the compass is too close to you and you have parallax error.

Later on check
Did you later on take a look at that spot on a paper chart using the right compass rose? With the increased reliance on electronics, the reality check of a paper chart tends to get missed.

Not a GPS versus compass thread

– Last Updated: Aug-17-16 12:49 AM EST –

I don't want to go there... I use two devices, do compass exercises, and check the results on the GPS. It's a really good tool. I keep a sighting compass in my PFD too in case something happens.

In this case I looked at printed chart before leaving to sight some bouys and towers and quickly realized something was way off after paddling for a short time. The chart stayed folded up.

Not declination

Not from left coast
No I’m from Connecticut and the ocean is always south and land is always north. Here it varies…land on the horizon is east west or north

Your needle is jammed
’No, the needle is not jammed’

The compass is not level …

‘No, the compass was level’

Your atop a magnetic anomaly

‘No, I always check for anomalies’

Anne O’Malley’s March
Those anomalies

in his homilies

has her moral compass spinnin’!

Tis why his parish

would never square us

indulgence with all our sinnin’.

Not an dispute, but as a check
I asked about that as a check on what you described above. It appears the answer is that you had the stuff but didn’t use it in such fashion. It is the fault of growing up the daughter of an engineer and a math degree. I go to an alternate approach pretty quickly if I get a frustrating odd result from the first round. I don’t have tons of patience for getting stuck.

Was it the usual strap-on compass?
And by an easy fix, do you mean that you just rejiggered the compass or something and the compass read correctly? Or do you mean that you discarded the compass?

you’re from the southern hemisphere

– Last Updated: Aug-17-16 9:52 AM EST –

...and you bought the compass from a grocery store gumball dispenser?

So the Compass Was Off

– Last Updated: Aug-17-16 11:45 AM EST –

more than 35 degrees true south?

the 76csx
I had…traded the little xxxxxx in for a self-leveling compass … went completely off route, target, area, planet Earth … at the day’s first major unmarked junction.

Compass Too Close

– Last Updated: Aug-17-16 3:55 PM EST –

Since your compass was up so close the metal ferrule in your paddle was throwing it off. The fix was to move the compass forward some or switch to a nice Greenland paddle.

Another too close
Your compass was too close to your pacemaker, so you removed your pacemaker.

Not a problem, just adapting to
local conditions.

You turned the compass slightly to align with your maps instead of reading off the local magnetic anomaly.

Wow, it has been half past forever that I was back east ! :slight_smile:

We have this stuff here back west, lots of fun in my state sometimes hiking. Even at home, since this is ancient riverbed, uplifted, I can pick up volcanic rock, sedimentary rock, granite, quartz… almost anything, because rivers sometimes follow fault lines. When on foot, I am crude, when in doubt, use the sun, tends to rise in east, set in west. At night, the constellations. Cloudy? Ruh oh. Use city lights in far distance.

I got a little tiny compass as a stocking stuffer recent holidays, I can’t even get true north on it in my living room, cracks me up.

You will enjoy this map
it is a pdf download, not too big a file

Magnetic Anomaly Map of North America

A screw or nut…
Stuck in the compass housing.

OK…heres what happened
It was the carabiner that I put on the pull strap of skirt. I bought a heavy one, and it was ferrous material which spun the compass.

Apologies in advance if you have never heard of putting a carabiner on a skirt pull loop… Lots of people around here do this, and two instructors used them and recommended them. If you are under water the weight of the carabiner sinks the loop. It also gives you a lot more loop to grab, especially if you are wearing gloves. It makes it harder to slip the loop underneath the seal.

Stick to aluminum or move your compass…