Celestial navigation introduction


Introduction to Celestial Navigation

Marion Bermuda Race & Ocean Navigator School of Seamanship

Marion, Mass  May 20-21st, 2017

This seminar is a hands-on course covering basic celestial theory, sight reduction of sun, moon, planets, stars, and specialty sights of certain bodies, like the noon sun sight and latitude by Polaris.

The class covers related topics such as time and time zones, sight planning, sextant accessories and offshore navigation plotting techniques, especially dead reckoning. Practical plotting of each kind of sight, as well as celestial running fixes, is covered in detail. Sextant use is discussed during one session, but no sights actually are taken during the class. The emphasis is on practical use of celestial navigation, with plenty of pencil and paper work. (Up to a dozen sights are reduced and plotted during the weekend, with numerous additional exercises.) using H.O. 249 in conjunction with the Nautical Almanac.

Students will find the Introduction to Celestial Navigation seminar to be a comprehensive, yet fast-paced, celestial navigation course. Over the past dozen years, alumni have navigated in Marion-Bermuda Races (even won on occasion!) and have made numerous celestial-only ocean crossings.

A review of basic navigation concepts such as chart work, plotting, true to magnetic course conversion, DR, time/speed/distance, etc. is recommended.

For those who have had no previous exposure to the subject reading one of the following books before the seminar would be helpful: 

Celestial Navigation in a Nutshell by Hewitt Schlereth or
The Celestial Navigation Mystery Solved by David Owen Bell (Landfall Navigation 203-851-3176 www.landfallnavigation.com)
For sextant use and care, try The Sextant Handbook by Robert Bauer.

Students should bring to class: (1) 2017 Nautical Almanac (either blue or orange version) (2) Volume 1 & 2 of H.O. 249, (3) parallel rules and dividers.

David P. Jackson
P. O. Box 760
Rockport, ME 04856
Tel. 207-236-7014
Cell phone: 207-542-5801
e-mail: David P Jackson <dpjackson@roadrunner.com>

By Ocean Navigator