We have come to rely on satellites and electronic navigation, but the complete seaman is still adept at the art of celestial navigation. This class is devoted to the basics of celestial navigation and principal trans-oceanic navigational skills. You will learn to navigate utilizing the sun, sextant, chronometer and tables. You will learn to set up and adjust your own sextant (you supply), take noon sights and take lateral sights to check your vessel’s compass deviation. Then you will take the sighting information, and learn how to translate that reading into a line of position.
Class discussion will also touch on the Global Positioning System (GPS) including an explanation of WAAS assisted GPS (also known as wide area assisted GPS) versus GPS, and electronic charting [“raster” versus “vector” digitizing].
Class will meet on two Monday and Wednesday evenings and on two following weekend days (Saturday for a noon sight and Sunday for a moon sight) to practice hands-on use of the sextant and chronometer. Four (4) class meetings and 2 field trips. Min 5 students.
Text & Materials: Celestial Navigation in a Nutshell by Hewitt Schlereth. Working sextant (Davis or equivalent)
Prerequisite: Coastal Navigation I or Equivalent