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Planning and Constructing Great-Circle Tracks, Continued - 14221_377
Planning and Constructing Great-Circle Tracks Considerations The  navigator  (NAV)  and  assistant  navigator  (ANAV)  must  lay  out  the ship’s  complete  intended  track  on  the  proper  chart  format.  This  task  is undertaken  after  the  planning  stage  is  complete  but  several  days  or weeks  before  getting  under  way,  depending  on  the  length  of  cruise. If  your  track  will  be  less  than  300  nautical  miles,  a  small-scale  Mercator chart  will  be  adequate.  However,  for  those  tracks  exceeding  300 nautical  miles,  you  will  probably  use  the  gnomonic  or  great-circle  chart. There  may  be  some  cruises  longer  than  300  nautical  miles  where  a Mercator  or  other  type  of  chart  is  more  appropriate  than  the  great-circle chart. You  will  recall  from  chapter  1  the  shortest  distance  between  two  points is  a  straight  line.  A  straight  line  is  perfect  for  navigational  track planning  using  a  great-circle  chart  (gnomonic  projection). The  Defense  Mapping  Agency  (DMA)  publishes  a  number  of  charts,  at various  scales,  using  the  gnomonic  projection  and  covering  the  usually navigated  portions  of  Earth.  These  are  listed  in  the  DMA  Catalog  of Maps,  Charts,  and  Related  Products,  part  2,  volume  X.  The  point  of tangency  is  chosen  for  each  chart  to  give  the  least  distortion  for  the  area to  be  covered.  On  this  type  of  chart,  a  grreat  circle  appears  as  a  straight line.  Because  of  this  property,  the  chart  is  useful  in  great-circle  sailing. The  following  table  shows  the  different  stages  of  constructing  a great-circle  track: Stage Description 1. Select  a  great-circle  chart  that  has  a  point  of  tangency  nearest your  ship’s  predicted  track. 2. Draw  the  track  and  check  for  dangers  (consult  sailing directions). 3. Transfer  to  open  ocean  Mercator  charts  (plotting  sheets). 4. Label  all  departure  points. 5. Determine  SOA  and  lay  out  PIM. 12-2

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