Why You Should Take a Celestial Navigation Course
— by Hugh Marlor
— I recently had the opportunity to attend the Celestial Navigation course at Doris & Steve Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School, (www.offshoresailing.com). The Celestial Navigation course is a 5 day classroom based instructor led education on how to navigate by the Sun, Moon, planets and stars. This course taught me how to use a sextant to successfully locate my position anywhere in the world, but without the need for a GPS device!
Twilight is Beautiful
I also gained a much greater appreciation for the objects in the sky around me. Before this course I had no idea how incredible twilight can be. Most of us watch the sunset but never really “see” all the other objects, (“celestial bodies”) that appear in the evening sky.
Using a Sextant to Find Your Position
Very often I have heard that celestial navigation is “too hard and has too much math.” Although there is a lot of underlying math to celestial navigation, this course shows you first how to navigate with a sextant and some simple tables to find your position. The instructor for this course emphasized the practical use of celestial navigation so that we did not get “bogged” down in the theory at the start. He then presented the details of navigating by the stars so that we had a full understanding of celestial navigation.
I would highly recommend this course for anyone who desires to learn more about all types of navigation and feel more confident on always knowing how to find your position.