# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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Re: suggestion for a satisfactory celnav narrative
From: Susan Johnson
Date: 2005 Jun 3, 09:00 -0700
My husband and I have been giving seminars (5 to 7 sessions) on Celestial Navigation a couple of times a year for the past 5 years (with mixed results).  Unfortunately, most attendees want to know how to do everything without expending any study, practice or thinking time are looking for a "cookbook" Celestial Nav.  We have the students  bring their books and sextants to class and we attempt to present an overview that will (1) make it easier for them to go back to the book and understand the text and learn more and (2) allow them to use the Davis celestial Nav forms ... fill in the blanks.... and "voila" ... here's what you have....

Our class (Celestial Aggravation) sylabus was as follows:

I  Introduction
Tools - pencil, eraser, maneuvering board, sextant, stop watch, chronometer, dividers, etc...
Basic navigation - Lines of Position, Fixes, Running Fixes, etc.
Terminology - Latitude, Declination, Longitude, Equation of Time, Poles (geographic, magnetic, compass, celestial), GMT, GHA, LHA, Geographical Position, Height of Eye, Dip, Parallax, etc.

II  The Sextant
Parts of and comparisons
How to Use
Errors and how to test and correct for
Theories on how often to take shots, best methods, averaging, graphing, etc.

III   The Almanac -
What information is available
Time and Longitude
Predicting local noon, sunrise, sunset

IV   Practical
Go to Imperial Beach pier where there is access to sun shot from 1 hr before noon until sunset. (we live on the Pacific ocean).  Take a series of  "morning" shots, "noon" shots, "afternoon" shots, and if the moon's available - a series of moon shots.

VI   Computation  (this frequently stretches over a couple of sessions)
Using HO 229 and/or  HO 249 work out the shots taken during the Practical and plot our position.  For this, we do a "noon" shot, a "morning" shot and an "afternoon" shot.

During a 6 session course, we do sample Moon and Start problems.

Preparing for this class I have found the following to be useful:

Books:

In 1975, I used Reed's Almanac w/ versine tables to successfully navigate a sailboat from England to Madeira, through the Carri bean, to Florida with sextant and short-wave radio.

Practical Celestial Navigation  by Susan P. Howell

Celestial Navigation for Yachstmen by Mary Blewitt

by Otis S. Brown

Dutton's
and Bowditch

Susan Johnson
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