For those of you just starting out in your career as a navigating officer here are a few hints and tips to make life easier, and improve your standards.
There is a lot of paperwork nowadays as a junior and senior officer. However the time to get involved in it is NOT when you are supposed to be navigating. It is unavoidable in some cases but you should set a time limit of 5 to 10 mins before leaving the paper and looking out the window. Note out the window, they are the big transparent things on the edges of the bridge that allow you to see out. I know the sarcasm is there, but listen to the officers who tell you to look out of these. You are supposed to be in charge of the vessel. That means watching what is going on on deck as well as looking out for Ships, fishing vessels, yachts (WAFIs), and heaven forbid, life rafts and lifeboats.
Take time to learn all about the radar, trail maneuver, relative and true motion, do not let anyone dictate to you that Only true is relevant, or only relative is good. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. But remember, Relative motion has the least input from outside sources of information and is therefore more likely to be true information, using GPS speed has so many errors you may as well input a guestimate. Think about the information you are getting from any instrument, Is it reliable, has it made any assumptions . Is the output valid ( are the inputs valid) remember Garbage in Garbage out). AND what is on a screen is not as acurate as what yo can see out of the window!