A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Ed Popko
Date: 2018 Dec 20, 07:26 -0800
The paper "Navigation of the James Caird on the Shackleton Expedition" is a labor of love. Reading, transcribing and cross checking Worsley's worn and tattered notebook entries is very challenge. In this paper, you get both a full chronical of their voyage and a clear view of the 19th century celestial navigation technique as it's actually practiced. Worsley had to hit the exact latitude of South Georgia Island for their landfall; miss the mark and everyone is doomed. It's interesting to compare the actual page images with the clear interpretation text and to follow their voyage.
It's also surprising that in all the numerous books about Shackleton's expeditions, no one till now, has detailed the celestial navigation methods that made them possible. The spotlight has always been on Shackleton himself, his carisma and leadership. Without Worsley's navigation skills, Shackleton would be just another explorer footnote in history.
Hats off to Lars, George, Brad and Robin for these excellent papers!