Transits, also called ranges, are very easy to learn to use. They are one the most useful navigation tools. Any two points that line up can be used to form a transit.
A running transit uses a compass bearing on an object. In the figure below, we plotted out the heading to a tower (12º) before starting our trip and drew it on the chart. While paddling, we take a bearing on the tower from time to time and when it is at 12º, we know that we are along the running transit line that we plotted. Running transits provide an easy way to keep track of your progress.
We also use transits to check on our drift. Find two stationary objects that appear to line up in your field of vision. If the object in the back seems to be moving to the left, we know we are drifting to the left. Test this method for yourself: raise your hands and line up your index fingers, with one hand about a foot from your eye and the other hand two feet away. Now move your head to the left. The back finger will appear to be moving to theleft.
You can use a single transit to know your position along a line. By using two transits, you can pinpoint your position.
We use transits almost every time we paddle. It's one of the easiest ways to determine how current and wind are affecting drift.
We use transits almost every time we paddle. It's one of the easiest ways to know what the current is doing. If the further point seems to be moving to the left, you are drifting to the left.
Nautical Charts, like topographic maps, have contour lines. These lines show the height of land formations. By looking at the contour lines you can see what the land will look like. The top figure is a view of what the Island would look like in the bottom figure. While this chart has contour lines every 20 feet, others charts may have contours lines at different intervals. When paddling in an area with many islands, use the contour lines to help you differentiate one island from another. Contour lines can also help you to identify particular areas or landmarks.
From a kayak you can line up any two points to make a transit. If the lighthouse seems to be moving to the left, you are drifting to the left.
Contour lines can help you pick out different areas or to tell one islands from another island.