Plotting a course means to lay out the course you want to travel on a chart. There are many methods that can be used to plot a course. Three methods will be covered below: using parallel rules, hand compass, and Nav-Aid©). It is easiest to plot your course at home before the trip starts using parallel rules, however, parallel rules can't be used on most kayak decks. The hand compass or Nav-Aid© can be used at sea, as long as the conditions are calm enough to put down your paddle while you plot your course. In rough conditions where you can't put your paddle down, you should raft up with another boat to do your navigation work. In a double kayak, one person can paddle as the other person navigates. Learn all three methods, so you can use the best one for your situation and for the equipment you have at hand.
This is the preferred method when planing trips at home if you have Parallel rules.
There are no set rules for figuring out the drift. This knowledge is gained over years of kayaking.
This is one of the most accurate ways to plot a course while at home. It only takes a pair of parallel rules. You can get the magnetic heading by reading the inner circle of the compass rose.