Celestial Navigation, the Easy Way!

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were making an ocean passage, way offshore and out of sight of land, and all of your electrics failed? No GPS. No chart plotter. Nothing!

Would you be able to calculate your location?

All you would need would be a sextant, a chronometer, nautical almanac and HO 249 (or the British equivalent), of course the celestial bodies, chart, pen and paper, and knowledge in celestial (astro) navigation.

CBYA member, Rosalind Miranda, has written a successful book on celestial navigation entitled Miranav: A workbook of celestial navigation for yachtsmen.

Here is the Cruising World review of her book….

Consider this unique workbook a piece of safety equipment! It is totally waterproof and rustproof (plastic covers, pages and spiral binding) and will provide a reliable back-up to all electronics, including calculators. Unlike a book, Miranav can be submerged, dried off and immediately used….. a potential lifesaver! All theory has been removed, and the text is designed to take the navigator from Point A to point B with tested clarity. Instructions are given for obtaining Line of Position (LOP) using the sun, moon, planets or stars; for plotting a LOP, for getting a running fix, for finding both longitude and latitude at noon, for using Polaris to calculate latitude, and for using a RDF and the Star Finder and Identifier. The Miranav method uses HO 249 and Nautical Almanac, and use of Time Chart eliminates problems in determining G.M.T., no need for mathematical calculations. Clearly-written numbered instructions correspond to numbers on four laminated work-forms that are re-usable (grease pencil or felt tip pen wipes clean with a damp cloth). Miranav has been reviewed and rated excellent by Cruising World staff.

Rosalind has agreed to run several two-session celestial navigation courses for the CBYA this year. The course will use her Miranav method and will be free-of-charge for paid-up CBYA members. The proposed dates are:

Group 1 – 11 & 12 March 2020

Group 2 – 18 & 19 March 2020

Group 3 (if adequate interest) – 16 & 17 September 2020

Each sessionwill cover:

    1) introduction & latitude at noon;

    2) line of position sun & plotting, advancing the latitude at noon in order to get a fix.

They will start at 1400 hours, take about two hours, and will take place at Rosalind’s house in Alcalalí.

Please note that celestial (or astro) navigation is only of use to people who will be sailing out of sight of land.

If you are interested in attending please contact me by clicking HERE.

Rachel Garnham

CBYA Training Officer