The direction in which the ship is pointing or heading. The compass course is the direction expressed in terms of compass degrees. When there is a cross-current, the vessel is not moving in the same direction as that in which she is heading, and it is customary to describe her direction over the sea-bed as the course made good. The distinction is important, and I prefer to use the word Track for the CMG, which is what you plot on your chart. But feel free to suit yourself.