Ocean Navigator - January-February 2016

Naval Academy revives only limited celestial

While it has been widely reported that the U.S. Naval Academy is restoring celestial navigation to its curriculum, the truth is that the Academy is moving “slow astern” from its 2006 decision to drop celestial.

Edson builds beastly quadrant

Edson International of New Bedford, Mass., has completed a quadrant to control yacht builder Royal Huisman’s latest project No. 398 — otherwise known as “The Beast” — the Dutch yard’s new 190-foot performance yacht.

In the wake of Thor Heyerdahl

On Nov. 7, 2015, Norwegian historian Torgeir Higraff and a crew of 13 people left the Peruvian port of Callao aboard two balsa rafts similar to those used by explorer Thor Heyerdahl in his legenday Kon-Tiki expedition to Easter Island.

Satellite imagery to aid chartmaking?

The oldest navigational tool of all is a good pair of eyes — like a lookout up the mast guiding a boat through coral or picking out buoys on a coastal passage.

Fuel to burn

Heading out to sea for an extended-range passage requires careful planning.

An unusual Bermuda landmark

The narrow two-lane road from Southampton on the southwestern end of Bermuda looks ordinary enough, but it leads to a marine oddity that most visitors never see unless they slow down and pay close attention to a curious little bridge.

Don’t forget VHF for safety

Paul Exner’s article on safety electronics (“Marine safety electronics,” November/December 2015) was most instructive and useful.

Local knowledge

Most everyone who spends time on boats hears about “local knowledge.” As in, “This harbor entrance (or whatever) shouldn’t be attempted without local knowledge.”

Fetching Panacea

Peter McCrea raced to Bermuda on the solo leg of the 2015 Bermuda 1-2 Race aboard Panacea, a Freedom 32 cat sloop.

State of charge

Today’s onboard electrical systems continue to get more sophisticated and more complicated, making it increasingly important to keep track of the health and status of the electrical system.

A DC positive distribution buss

On most vessels, the alternator is connected directly to the starter of the engine and while this is all right for charging the starter battery, it is not ideal for charging a large house battery bank.

Ocean survival: then and now

In 1819, the whaling ship Essex departed Nantucket on an ill-fated voyage that ended in a Pacific sinking after its hull was stove in by a whale — a story that many call “the real Moby Dick.”

January/February Issue 231: Power passage to Bermuda

Initially I thought I was being made the butt of a maritime joke. Steve Steinberg, the skipper of the 106-foot motor yacht Illiquid, was making a passage to Bermuda from Greenport, N.Y., and asked me to come along, ostensibly, to teach the crew celestial navigation.