What’s the future of celestial navigation? It’s still too soon to tell. But it seems clear that black-box navigation technology is rapidly changing the way celestial navigation is performed.
Those who still have an interest in finding their way by sun, stars, planets, and moon can do so with substantially less pencil-work nowadays.
Even the way we teach celestial is changingthis fall we begin teaching the first of a series of seminars covering techniques of celestial navigation using the Celesticomp preprogrammed calculator for sight reduction. These day-long classes, the first taught by Greg Walsh, will include full celestial theory as well as traditional sight reduction, offshore plotting techniques, the noon sight, and related topics. But students will be taught to perform the once-laborious sight-reduction techniques in just a few minutes using calculators.
The first sun-calculator class will be held on Friday, October 11, during the Annapolis Boat Show. The next is slated for November 23 in Stamford, Conn. Others will be scheduled for winter months.
In other educational developments we have scheduled the first of a new offshore communications seminar for October 13, also during the Annapolis Boat Show. That session, to be taught by Tim Queeney and Michael Carr, is scheduled for a half-day of talks covering the basics of over-the-horizon and satellite communications, including offshore options for obtaining weather information. Michael Carr, our education director, will also be teaching weather seminars this fall and winter, including a session at the same boat show.