Manual of sextant navigation by Kris Larsen

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Manual of sextant navigation by Kris Larsen

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Sextant manual by Kris Larsen

A lot of people ask me to teach them sextant navigation. While the actual process is simple and easy, to become a confident navigator requires time and practice. I've seen so many people discouraged by the technical jargon used to explain celestial mechanics, that I have decided to write a simple how-to manual, leaving out anything that is not essential. You do not really need to understand the underlying spherical geometry to become a proficient navigator. If it takes your fancy, you can fill in the gaps later, but in the 1970ies when I learned the sextant myself, most skippers just did the trick without bothering about the theory, and it still worked.

The only mathematics involved in this manual are addition and subtraction of angles...6th grade algebra. The first man to circumnavigate the globe using a sextant and reliable clock, Captain James Cook, only had two years of formal education. When he joined the Navy at the age of 12 he could barely read and write...roughly the equivalent of a High School Certificate, these days.

I will assume that you are familiar with the concepts of latitude and longitude; namely that the Equator is designated as zero degrees of latitude, the North Pole lies on latitude 90° north and the South Pole is on 90° south.

Sections:

Introducing the Sextant
The Nautical Almanac
Latitude
Longitude
Position Line
Finding Your Position and Some Dirty Tricks

19 pages, with 15 illustrations/figures.

Available as instant digital download, 3.7 MB pdf file, plus one jpg file
Sextant manual by Kris Larsen

A lot of people ask me to teach them sextant navigation. While the actual process is simple and easy, to become a confident navigator requires time and practice. I've seen so many people discouraged by the technical jargon used to explain celestial mechanics, that I have decided to write a simple how-to manual, leaving out anything that is not essential. You do not really need to understand the underlying spherical geometry to become a proficient navigator. If it takes your fancy, you can fill in the gaps later, but in the 1970ies when I learned the sextant myself, most skippers just did the trick without bothering about the theory, and it still worked.

The only mathematics involved in this manual are addition and subtraction of angles...6th grade algebra. The first man to circumnavigate the globe using a sextant and reliable clock, Captain James Cook, only had two years of formal education. When he joined the Navy at the age of 12 he could barely read and write...roughly the equivalent of a High School Certificate, these days.

I will assume that you are familiar with the concepts of latitude and longitude; namely that the Equator is designated as zero degrees of latitude, the North Pole lies on latitude 90° north and the South Pole is on 90° south.

Sections:

Introducing the Sextant
The Nautical Almanac
Latitude
Longitude
Position Line
Finding Your Position and Some Dirty Tricks

19 pages, with 15 illustrations/figures.

Available as instant digital download, 3.7 MB pdf file, plus one jpg file


Reviews

5 out of 5 stars (4)
  • John Hoenninger 21 Sep, 2018
    5 out of 5 stars
    Kris gives a very easy to understand step-by-step procedures for using a marine sextant to determine latitude and longitude. This is a practical description much like you would get if you were trained on a sailboat by the captain, not a theoretical discussion. Illustrations from actual nautical manuals make the process very clear.
    Manual of sextant navigation by Kris Larsen
  • John Hoenninger 25 Nov, 2018
    5 out of 5 stars
    I always wondered what it would be like to live by a remote tropical beach. Now I know! Kris and his wife live a simple life while engaging in artistic pursuits by a beach in northern Palawan in the Philippines. His wife makes it easier for them to deal with the local cast of characters since she came from Luzon. It turns out there are a lot of practical considerations living by a beach and Kris gives entertaining descriptions of the ups and downs doing it. Ultimately they have to leave, but their experiences make for a great story.
    Kris Larsen: With Mermaid up a Moonberry Tree
  • John Hoenninger 25 Nov, 2018
    5 out of 5 stars
    The many adventures sailing a home built steel yacht with traditional junk rigging from Tasmania to Madagascar is very engaging. Kris describes the people and places he encounters vividly. His inspiration from Marco Polo and Sinbad the Sailor takes him trading from Zanzibar to the remote northwest coast of Madagascar, where he is welcomed by locals as one of them, not a tourist. He gives good descriptions of sailing in that area and across the Indian Ocean.
    Kris Larsen : Monsoon Dervish
  • Pete 25 Sep, 2018
    5 out of 5 stars
    A great book. Shipping from Australia to UK was very quick.
    Kris Larsen : Monsoon Dervish

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