A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Bob Goethe
Date: 2016 Jul 6, 09:39 -0700
>>celestial navigation...sounds a bit ethereal, a bit cosmic, or spiritual. Indeed, over the years I have encountered quite a few people who hear the phrase "celestial navigation" and think that it has something to do with cosmic contemplation. <<
I have found this as well. The "celestial navigation" phrase just doesn't communicate well to people outside the nautical/navigational community (which is almost everybody I know). Most folks locally seem to seldom use the word "celestial" in their spoken language except in connection with Celestial Seasoning's herbal teas. "Astro navigation" seemed like only a slight improvement. It did have a Jetsons flavor for me (funny how these things hang on for decades in the back of the mind). I had never considered "nautical astronomy"...but I like it.
When speaking to a sailor or pilot, any descriptive phrase will work. But when trying to communicate with a person who may not even know what the word "sextant" means, I think I am liking the un-shortened phrase, "astronomical navigation" best. Seems like I should have been able to work that out for myself long before this discussion on NavList, but I didn't. So this has been a helpful dialog to me.