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Celestial Navigation: Dancing with the Stars

Course Overview

Celestial navigation is one of the oldest of all forms of navigation. For thousands of years, an understanding of the sky has guided mariners safely across the trackless oceans of the world. It is a traditional craft that is rich in both history and romance. With the advent of modern electronics, one can now cross oceans with little more than a smartphone to find the way -- making celestial navigation as well as other traditional forms of navigation all but a lost art. But we would argue that as a mariner, there are few things more satisfying than finding your way across the waters using a few basic tools, a sharp pencil and a little bit of luck – none of which requires electricity. This course will introduce the art of celestial navigation. We will cover the basic theory and concepts of navigating by celestial bodies, the care and use of the sextant, the use of the Nautical Almanac and Sight Reduction Tables and easy to follow steps on how to take and work out sun and star sites.  No prior experience is necessary.

Required Tools 

  • The 2021 Nautical Almanac and Sight Reduction Tables Publication 229 Volume 4
  • Sextant: the instructor has several sextants for participants to use, but to maximize your personal practice, it is recommended that you bring your own

Course Details

Currently Scheduled Sessions