Bun bag navigation

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Bread bag navigation (also called baker 's navigation , based on the decca navigation, which is no longer in use ) is a joke term from recreational shipping and describes navigation in unknown waters on pleasure boats without a compass , sextant , radar , radio navigation , GPS and the like. The term originated among sailors in the Danish South Seas and comes from the idea (or experience) that - often a little drunk - you run into some small port in the evening and only find out the next morning at the local bakery based on the imprint on the bread bag where you are. In addition, a nautical chart is often used to determine exactly where this location is located. This is particularly necessary because there is usually no place-name sign at port entrances.

This type of navigation is - at least for stable weather situations and in the Western Baltic densely placed navaids - quite possible. In midsummer there are so many pleasure craft in certain sections that driving behind is enough to reach the next port.

In its French translation, navigation à la boulangerie , this term is used by boat travelers on inland waterways in France who do not have a license . A road map is usually used there, however.

There was something similar with airplane pilots at the time of the First World War . When they no longer knew where they were, they flew to a small, uncovered train station and read the place names there. Helicopter pilots, whether civil or military, have reported this type of position determination in the recent past, but increasingly with reading place-name signs or motorway signs .

The term allegorically stands for let yourself drift (“The way is the goal”).


  • Peter E. Eiffe: Split ends and knots. Merry news from the Navy . 8th edition. Hansen & Hansen Verlag, Münsterdorf 1986, ISBN 978-3-87980-381-1 .