Dead reckoning, dead in the water more like. My chartplotter tells me everything I want to know. Paper Charts, compasses, pencils, in the bin. Just turn it on, put in some waypoints and turn on the autohelm.
Joshua Slocum set out from Boston in April 1895 in his sloop Spray to circumnavigate the world. He bought a 1 dollar alarm clock, which he boiled as it didn’t work properly to act as his chronometer. He navigated by dead reckoning (DR) and the stars.
Now whilst that is quite beyond my capabilities the current emphasis on setting to sea with a boat bristling with the latest electronics in order to get from the Hamble to the IOW is unnecessary. Sailing magazines supported by advertising are forever producing articles about every conceivable gadget, and whilst they all have their merits, most are not really needed.
The problem that reading these articles gives me, and I’m sure others is that of inadequacy. My first offshore trip was from Yarmouth, IOW to Alderney. GPS was not around then and navigation was by DR. It was no modern yacht and poor windward performance meant that it took us 22 hours to sight land. That’s a lot of time without knowing precisely where you are, and there was much discussion about whether helmsman A or B or C for that matter had steered the more accurate course.
Eventually it was possible to identify landmarks on shore and take bearings in order to plot a position on the chart. We made it!
In later years GPS really made it easy to know exactly where you are. My point is that with a chart, compass, GPS and a depth guage, you can go anywhere. There is no substitute for observation and common sense.