Line Of Sight In Oceans

When a ship is sailing in the deep sea all that it can see around is the endless ocean. The eyes of the mariners long to see a piece of land. When a land is spotted especially in the olden days the sailors would celebrate. However, it was not easy to understand how far the land is and how long will they take to reach the same. This is exactly how the concept of line of sight in oceans started to develop and calculators were developed to find this out.

The Basic Principle

We all know that the earth is a sphere. This is exactly why we can only see in straight line. This straight line was called the line of sight in oceans. We can see from the edge of our eyes to the any object that is up over the horizon. This is the reason why we can never judge the correct distance between us and the horizon. The line of sight in oceans is often a misleading one.

Line of Sight Calculator

Line of Sight Calculator

Line of Sight Calculator

To get the calculation right the sailor has to understand few things and then do the calculations.

  1. The first point is that the sailor can see the highest point of the land.
  2. The second point is that the sailor is also placed at a certain height and it will usually be about five feet from the surface if the water.

The sailors are provided with a height and a distance table. Based on this table they can understand how long they will take in order to reach the land. The table basically says that if the height is about five feet then the distance is 2.6 nautical miles to the horizon. As the height increases the distance is also increased. For example if the height is forty feet then the distance will be 7.4 nautical miles to the horizon. The table goes up to the height of three hundred feet. Based on this distance the sailor can then estimate how much time it will take the boat to reach the horizon or the land that they have spotted.

Constant Training

The sailors are trained to calculate the distance like this. They are also trained on the line of sight in oceans. This training proves very useful to them when they are in the deep sea. It can also be a great help when they are lost in the sea. The concept is interesting indeed. It also reduces the anxiety.

In the olden days as soon as land was spotted there would be excitement in the ship. However, when the sailors would see that even after sailing for days they have not reached the land their excitement would reduce. This is when they realized the line of sight in oceans and the actual horizon is different and line of sight calculation methods were perfected.

The time that it might take to reach the land will be longer than the time that is expected because the earth is a sphere. The closer you get to the land the farther it may seem. Sometimes the sailor would feel that they are just hallucinating the presence of the land.

These experiences actually taught them to come up with the concept of the line of sight in oceans. They developed their findings and then they came up with the table that would help them to understand exactly how far they were from the land and how long it would take them to reach the same.

In the olden days the palm trees were used to do the calculations. Nowadays the sky high buildings in the cities are used by the sailors for the same calculation. The name line of sight in oceans was quite an apt one. Line of sight cause this was the line in which a land was spotted or sighted. You don’t always have to be in the ship to understand the line of sight in oceans. When you are in the beach and you see a ship far away the same concept of the line of sight in oceans work. If you want you too can do the calculations and find out how long the ship will take to reach the beach.

Line of sight in oceans is an interesting concept. It has been in use for years. We hope that this small article of ours was able to explain the concept of line of sight in oceans to our readers. Next time you hear the phrase line of sight in oceans you will perhaps have a better idea of the same. Next time you see the horizon you will perhaps have a different way of analyzing the same.

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