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Celestial Navigation in the Age of Sail
A fast-paced introductory workshop in the history and the actual techniques of celestial navigation as it was practed aboard American vessels in the Age of Sail. We'll learn how to take sights and work calculations, especially as done aboard the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. Examining original logbooks and navigational calculations from its voyages, we'll apply these same methods to modern navigation.
In this class, we'll learn how to use and adjust sextants and octants, both historical instruments and their modern equivalents, and we'll learn the classic method of finding latitude by "Noon Sun". We'll also cover in detail the math of the "time sight" for finding longitude. Throughout, we will compare what we're doing with actual logbook entries of calculations in the collections of Mystic Seaport, bringing historical documents to life. We'll also discuss celestial navigation options for the Marion-Bermuda Race which takes place in June of this year.
Weather permitting, students will have opportunities to make actual sextant observations. This is real navigation, not just a class "about" navigation. Fast and intense, students who complete this class will have the basic celestial navigation skills to cross any ocean using the Sun, a sextant, and a few other simple tools, drawn directly from the 19th century.
Requirements: Basic addition and subtraction, good familiarity with latitude and longitude.
Recommended for ages 18 and up, students as young as age 13 welcome.
Instructor: Frank Reed is a gifted teacher and a recent guest expert in celestial navigation on StarTalk, a science talk show on the National Geographic Channel. To learn more about Frank Reed, please visit his website at reednavigation.com.
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, 2019
10:00AM to 4:00PM
General Registration: $225
Individual Member Registration: $210
Household Member & Above: $200
Location: Hudson River Maritime Museum
Wooden Boat School
86 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
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