Nautical Science is the study of the nautical aspects of the maritime environment used in the movement or transport of persons, goods and equipment by sea from one geographical position to another.

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The purpose of the subject Nautical Science is to provide an appropriate body of specialised knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will:  develop awareness of South Africa as a maritime nation and the importance of the sea to the economy of the country  prepare the learner for a career at sea at various levels in a marine enterprise  expose learners to ascending levels of nautical knowledge and ability  prepare learners for the maritime courses within the higher education sector and for entry into careers in the maritime industry  stimulate an interest in and enjoyment of maritime activities and  encourage safe practices in maritime activities. Nautical Science is both a practical and theoretical orientated subject. It develops competences in the acquisition and use of information required in a seafarer career. In Nautical Science, learners are introduced to the following four foci covering  Nautical navigation This section encompasses navigational terminology, principles, concepts and systems as well as the sources of and use of navigational information such as observation, navigational instruments, nautical tables and publications. Opportunities are provided for practical work such as planning and plotting voyages, using mathematical models and formulas to calculate distances, time, courses, tides, depth of water, effects of weather etc.  Seamanship In this section the focus is on the role of mariner and career opportunities in the nautical industry. It includes nautical terminology, types of vessels and their construction, characteristics, purpose and layout, as well as the factors and forces affecting their handling and their stability. Learners develop skills in ropework and are introduced to types of cordage. They learn about equipment for loading, stowing and discharging cargo and have opportunities to calculate, compare and contrast ways and means of handling cargo. Great emphasis is placed on safety at sea including risks, rules, procedures and equipment. Environmental concerns around shipping are explored.  Meteorology Learners become acquainted with the physical environment and weather and their impact on the seafarer and the maritime activities, including how to observe and measure the changes to this environment and to assess its influence on maritime activities.  Maritime Communications This section develops learners' ability to interpret and use communication methods and procedures including signals, codes, flags, flashing lights and distress frequencies Nautical Science develops learners' ability to logically organise, assess and present the information acquired in a form which is user-friendly. Learners use and apply the acquired information to perform or simulate the performance of the nautical tasks and duties of the seafarer. This includes the procedures and techniques to be followed as well as the use of the hardware/ equipment where practicable.

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