How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice! That time-honored joke holds true not just for music performance but for celestial navigation too. The more sights you shoot, the more skilled you become (even if your intended destination isn't a famous performance space in midtown Manhattan). We recently heard from two Ocean Navigator celestial navigation seminar students on their offshore efforts returning from the Marion Bermuda Race. Here is an email exchange between Dana Oviatt, owner of the J-40 Eagle and Yuji Sugimoto who sailed as delivery crew bringing the C&C 40 Corsair back to Marion, Mass. after the race:
"I hope you had a smooth trip back to the US. I also hope you got a chance to practice your celestial and get some sun and star shots. Parts of our trip back were a little wet and rough, but it’s difficult to complain about steady southwesterlies for so many days in a row. We made it back in almost exactly 4 days and the boat didn’t pound.
"It was great to meet you in Bermuda!
and Yuji's response:
"It was so great to see you and so many celestial navigators from our Ocean Navigator class of April 2015 in Bermuda. It seemed like more than half of our class was there. I guess Tim Queeney did a good job of getting us excited about the subject.
"Yes, the return from Bermuda was fantastic. We, Corsair C&C 40, also made it back in 4 days and 1 hour to Marion, Mass.
"I did take some sun sites, wanted to do Venus and moon but I was suffering from some sea-sickness on the first 2 days so I could not do as much as I wanted. I was amazed by the clarity of the sky, the 3 dimension like sight of Venus and Jupiter; It really appeared that Venus was much closer to earth than Jupiter, not just 2 adjacent brilliant white dots in the sky, as it appears in New Jersey. It really felt like I was staring into the depth of celestial space."
Below is Yuji with Yumi II, his Beneteau 411, in Charleston, S.C.