A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2022 Sep 15, 11:15 -0700
Following Celestial Navigation in the Age of Sail (see my previous message), I'm teaching my unique workshop on Lunars: Finding Longitude by Lunar Distances. This workshop is offered twice in online sessions in early November. The "Atlantic" (*) session runs on the weekend of Nov 5-6 from 10:00am to 4:00pm Eastern US time. The "Pacific" (*) session runs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov 7-9, 6:00pm to 9:00pm Eastern US time. Standard price per person for nine hours of class is $174 per person. NavList members can register for this (and any of my workshops) using discount code NX8767 which will get you a $25 discount. Please, if at all possible, consider my Age of Sail workshop as a pre-requisite for this Lunars workshop. Lunars will make much more sense with that background.
If you have attended this workshop previously, you may repeat any number of times you wish (online only) for a modest "seat fee". Register at the repeat rate.
Lunars are not as difficult as often described. Under the right circumstances, they're even easy! Lunars were widely used at sea in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the era before chronometers became common. Observing with a fine sextant, navigators used the Moon as a great natural clock in the sky. From James Cook and Nathaniel Bowditch to Joshua Slocum, lunars were a challenge that proved a navigator's skill.
In this workshop, we'll learn about the history of lunars by following two voyages in detail, the ill-fated mission of the Bounty 1787-89, and also the voyage of the Boston trading vessel Reaper 1807-09. We'll see how they used lunars in the real world from primary source evidence.
Participants in this workshop will learn the details of adjusting a sextant properly and tricks for taking accurate sights. You'll learn easy methods for "clearing" lunars using historical tables rebuilt for this workshop (yours to keep and use). We'll also talk about some of the fascinating mathematics, astronomical theories, and historical accidents that made lunars possible. We'll see that lunars can be easy, and yet lunars remain an excellent challenge and a good test of sextant and navigator. Plus, they're fun, and lunar sights can be taken inland, far from any ocean, an ideal diversion for the landlocked navigation enthusiast!
Clockwork Mapping / Reednavigation.com
Conanicut Island USA
* I refer to the different schedule options as "Atlantic" and "Pacific" sessions because the Atlantic option is usually more convenient for participants on or around the Atlantic Ocean from Europe through the eastern US (and also most or all of South America, etc.) while the Pacific session is more convenient for those around the Pacific Ocean from the western US through the Pacific islands to New Zealand, Australia, and east Asia. But the names do not imply a geographic constraint or exclusion. Attend either session based on your convenience and your preference.