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Friday, April 2, 2010

Celestial Navigation Course Aboard the Schooner "Spirit of Independence"

Participants sight the sun using a sextant
Most of us are enthralled with the sea and are drawn to stories and movies that have a sea theme. We can all relate to the human experience of these stories and movies accept when we consider how they found their way across the featureless expanse of ocean. That to many of us is a mystery.

Peter Youngblood demonstrates the use of a sextant.
Recently, area sailors and crewmembers had a workup on celestial navigation in preparation for our cruise aboard Schooner SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE to Bermuda. The workup session was held on board at her berth, which is docked at Tidewater Yacht Marina in Portsmouth, VA. Sun sights were taken throughout the day, with emphases on sextant technique used to bring an object to the horizon. Between shooting sessions the group discussed the geometry behind finding ones position with a sextant. Additionally each person used his or her sight data for sight reduction using a celestial navigation computer program that removes the drudgery of using the almanac and sight reduction tables.

Captain J. C. Waters of the SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE
The workup continued the following weekend when the SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE cruised out to the Bay where they were able to take advantage of a true sea horizon for our shots.

If you and a group of your friends would like to plan a similar cruise with hands on experience let us hear from you.

Thanks goes to Joe Elder of Skipjack Nautical Wares, also of Portsmouth, who attended and brought with him several very nice sextants from his inventory.

Visit the Schooner SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE  by clicking on the link here.

Capt. J. C. Waters
757 971 1865

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