# 1.4 Measurement of direction

November 23, 2020

## Measurement of direction – three figure notation

Three figure notation. All bearings and headings (courses) are expressed in three figures. For example: North is expressed as 000°. South is expressed as 180°. North-west is expressed as 045°. Five degrees to the right of north is expressed as 005°. The reason for this is to avoid confusion with […]
November 23, 2020

## Cardinal and intercardinal points

In the days of sail it was virtually impossible to steer a course accurately to within a degree. As a result the compass was divided into thirty two equal “points”, each 11¼° wide. The four major points, namely north, south, east and west, are referred to as the four cardinal […]
November 23, 2020

## Relative bearings

Bearings can also be expressed in relative terms, ie bearings relative to the ship’s fore and aft centreline. All bearings on the port side will be prefaced with the word “red” and those to starboard, with the word “green”. They will be followed by the angle measured from the bow, […]
December 8, 2020

## Compasses

The instrument which is used to measure and display bearings/courses is known as a compass. There are two basic types of compass used at sea: The Gyro compass. The Magnetic compass. On large merchant ships it is not unusual for it to be equipped with two gyro compasses and one […]
December 8, 2020

## Variation, magnetic bearings and deviation

Variation Variation is defined as the angle between the true and magnetic meridians. It is said to be easterly if the direction of magnetic north lies to the east of the true meridian and westerly if it lies to the west. Variation can b e obtained from a special isogonic […]