Celestial Navigation – The Moon

Apparently I am not the only person to have been given a big fright by the moon sneaking up over the horizon at random times of the night, and my crew continue to debate whether or not the moon landings were real or a huge conspiracy. Whatever your opinion and whether it has ever frightened…

Navigation – Position Lines

We take a short side track from our Celestial Navigation posts to do some quick revision on position lines and plotting positions on the chart. To work out our position by using a sextant sight, we first need to have an estimated position. This is worked out by using Dead Reckoning – or an educated…

Basic Navigation

A special thanks to everyone who is still reading my numerous Coastal Skipper revision posts in preparation for the Ocean Yachtmaster exam. I have certainly dredged up some things from the depths of my brain that had long been forgotten. I am flitting around with topics all over the place, which is just typical of…

Measuring Distance Off a Landmark

I remember going to my Coastal Navigation course about 10 years ago, and sitting right at the front of the class like a swotty nerd that I was. The teacher said that today we were going to be learning how to measure the distance off a landmark and that it was just a case of…

Raising & Dipping Lights & Landmarks

For today’s lesson in navigation we are going to look at one method of determining your position without the use of a GPS! These are always good skills to have, because lets face it, it is super easy to become reliant on your electronic gear, but if it breaks down then you could be in…

Sailing at Night

I think sailing at night feels kind of surreal – it is spooky sometimes, but then you see the millions of stars – more than you will ever see on land, and it is so beautiful. With the loss of your vision your other senses become more alert, you hear and smell new things. It…

Navigating around Coral Reefs

We have just returned from a trip to New Caledonia. The entire island is surrounded by a big reef and there are lots of little reefs inside that. Navigation is ok here, as the charts are really well marked, there are nice suggested tracks to follow and lots of cardinal and lateral marks and lighthouses…