Celestial Navigation is an ancient sailing skill you need to know294 views | August 19th, 2022
For hundreds of years before the advent of GPS sailors navigated the ocean using only a sextant and heavenly bodies. From Polynesians to Phoenicians. Viking raiders of the 5th Century to pillaging Pirates of the 18th. All used forms of Celestial Navigation. Recently we’ve discovered Vikings even manage to reach the shores of North American centuries before the explorers of the 15th. Their only guide being the sun and starts. This blog will delve into why Celestial Navigation is an ancient sailing skill you need to know. Plus how First Class Sailing can help you discover this skill for yourself.
Why is Celestial Navigation is an ancient sailing skill you need to know?
Modern technology has graced us with tools that have made sailing a more straightforward process. GPS not only makes navigation easier for modern sailors but gives us an unparalleled level of accuracy. Despite how unlikely it is. In the event your GPS fails, you don’t want to be in the middle of The Atlantic with no idea where to sail. Being able to pick up a Sextant and use the heavens to find your way could help ensure the safety of yourself and your crew. Like many skills on your sailing tool belt. It’s better to have a skill and not need to use it than be caught without
Celestial Navigation and it’s place in the modern day.
Researchers have been debating for decades the benefits of traditional navigation methods over modern systems. Some argue that the high level of knowledge needed to navigate using celestial navigation still proves to be more efficient than a user interacting with GPS on a cognitive level. If sailing a route you’ve sailed before. It argued GPS no matter how accurate, cannot always give the user fast enough feedback.
In 2015 the US Navy’s academies began teaching celestial navigation alongside modern navigation methods for the first time in 24 years. The decision to bring back traditional methods is cited as a response to the escalation of cyberwarfare threats. If hackers were to take down the satellites used to allow for modern technology it would be vital to know these traditional methods.
How Can First Class Sailing Help?
We offer Celestial Sailing weekends that give you hands-on practical experience. It’s a great opportunity to practice using a Sextant and gives you a chance to see if it’s a subject you’d like to study further. The Celestial sailing weekends are ideal offering both an introduction and a refresher. You’ll be taught in a small group under the supervision of an expert instructor.
The course covers the basic principles behind using a sextant to fix your position, initial sextant checks, meridian passage, sun sights, star planning, and compass checks among more. For more information about these weekends please see the link below.
Posted by: First Class Sailing