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Modern Celestial Navigation

This is a fast-paced introduction to celestial navigation from a modern perspective, designed especially for yachtsmen and recreational boaters. If you’re thinking about bluewater sailing, celestial navigation stands as the only autonomous backup to GPS and electronic navigation. Celestial is also a tradition that connects us with maritime history.

During this hands-on class, participants will learn how to adjust and use sextants available on the market today. We’ll learn how to analyze and clear sextant observations using modern tools, including calculators and software apps for tablets, smartphones, and other devices. In addition, we’ll cover accurate position-determination by visual observation of artificial satellites, among the most accurate non-electronic methods of determining a vessel’s position at sea. Weather permitting, class participants will have opportunities to experiment with sextant observations as well as artificial satellite observations to determine latitude and longitude.

This is real navigation, celestial navigation for the 21st century, not just a class about navigation. Fast and intense, students who complete this weekend class will have the basic celestial navigation skills necessary to double check a GPS position or to sail entirely by the sun and stars using a sextant, a handheld calculator, and a few other simple tools.

Class Requirements: good basic arithmetic skills, but nothing beyond addition and subtraction. A scientific calculator is also required. Details will be provided to class participants by email. Visit www.reednavigation.com for more information.