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Modern Celestial Navigation

May 16 - May 18

This is not your grandparents’ celestial navigation! A fast-paced introduction to celestial navigation from a 21st century perspective. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to adjust and use sextants available on the market today. We’ll learn streamlined calculations using a common handheld solar-powered calculator. This workshop is designed especially for yachtsmen and recreational boaters. If you’re dreaming about a trans-oceanic voyage or circumnavigation, in this workshop you’ll learn all the techniques to determine latitude and longitude anywhere on Earth using the Sun and the brighter stars. Celestial navigation stands as the only autonomous backup to GPS and electronic navigation, and it is a tradition that connects us with maritime history. Weather permitting, class participants will have opportunities to experiment with sextant observations. We’ll also learn how to use the Sun and stars as a highly accurate compass, a technique valuable in near-shore waters as well as blue-water sailing. This is real navigation, celestial navigation for the 21st century, not just a class about navigation.
Requirements: Basic addition/subtraction, good familiarity with latitude and longitude. Some familiarity with basic algebra, especially positive/negative numbers.
Recommended for ages 13+.