Nautical Chart Posters (NEW!)
Nautical charts are the roadmaps of the oceans. A new series of posters, illustrated by Taylor Morrison, explains concepts and components that form the basis for understanding nautical charts. The posters – displaying charts of the Northeast Coast, the Southwest Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico – can be downloaded for color printing on 11 x 17 paper.
Nautical Charts and Marine Navigation: Plot your Course
This lesson plan expands on the basic components of nautical charts and suggests student activities in planning their own “cruise.”
See That Sound (Hydrographic Surveying)
Hydrography is the science of measuring and describing the physical features of bodies of water and adjacent land areas that are periodically underwater (such as areas that are covered and uncovered by rising and falling tides). Cartographers use hydrographic data to produce nautical charts and other aids for safe navigation. This educational activity explains how hydrographers use sonar systems to collect data.
Coastal Currents and Navigation: Ready, Set, Drift!
Anyone who operates a boat in coastal waters needs to understand the movement of currents. They need to know how to handle the currents. Shipmasters, in particular, need accurate real-time information about coastal water movements to avoid dangerous and expensive groundings and collisions.
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary: Shipwreck Alley
"Shipwreck Alley" is the final resting place for scores of ships that have fallen victim to Lake Huron’s murky fog banks, sudden gales, and rocky shoals. The cold, fresh waters of Lake Huron slow down natural processes that corrode iron and degrade wood, so even the oldest shipwrecks are often in excellent condition. The shipwrecks of Thunder Bay tell us a great deal about life on the Great Lakes over the past 200 years, and offer opportunities to study the structure, rigging, and other details of sailing ships that are hard to find anywhere else.