Going old school
You may have heard that with increased concern of cyber security, the US Naval Academy has resumed offering instruction in Celestial Navigation, something that it hasn’t done in 20 years. This is a subject that has long been of interest to me. I was given a sextant by our friend Pete, then Captain of the schooner Coral. We also found a very nice one on board Frost. The problem is, I’ve never had any real instruction in how to use them.
This nice sextant came with our new boat.
During a break in one of this week’s squalls, on a rare moment when the sun presented itself, I broke out both sextants and played around with getting a sun sight. Of course, that’s only the first step in using the sextant to determine position. Later today I’m hoping to get together with Gavin, one of our cruising buddies, who has kindly offered to show me the basics. I think it’ll be a while before I’m up to the level of the guys in the book that I mentioned yesterday, My Old Man and the Sea, who used only a sextant to pilot their boat all the way around Cape Horn. Impressive!
The only reason I was even able to begin to get the sun sight the other day is because of
the mini lesson I received from our cruising friend Eric back in 2013.