You have all fall’n into the oldest trick in the book. Using sexy images to talk about things that are boring. It was a two day set up, but here it is. SEXTANTS. And for those of you that can’t see this, we have this wonderful image of an Ink clot babe AND a sextant!
A huge thanks to the Antique Boat Museum for this cool series of Sextant images and text. mmmm maybe we can invent a new thing called Sextanting? You can text people a chart or navigation plan? Here is the article from the museum.
“In the old days, navigation would be carried out with the aid of a sextant along with charts and other navigation tools. A sextant measures the angular distance between two visible objects and is primarily used for celestial navigation. By changing how you hold a sextant and what objects used for measurements, longitude and latitude can be estimated and a ship’s position can be found on a nautical chart. Sextants are a great backup navigational tool for ships since they don’t require electricity.
The Museum’s sextant was manufactured in 1956 by Weems, Hughes & Plath. Weems & Plath still manufactures nautical instruments as they have been since 1928 in Annapolis. Weems & Plath grew out Lt. Cdr. Weems determination to create a safer and simpler means of navigation for planes than using an armada of ships as beacons for trans-Atlantic flights. Weems & Plath began as Weems System of Navigation and became Weems & Plath after becoming the North American distributor for the navigational instruments produced by the German company C. Plath.”
There it is, from our pals at the Museum. Now as a kid, I was fortunate enough to be taught how to use a Sextant. Its actaully a very cool tool, and sadly some of that information has been errased from my mind over the years. I am still blown away by the fact that one can navigate around local water ways with an app on your phone. I don’t trust it. But I suppose thats life.
Using a Sextant requires charts and graphs and all sorts of things to plot a course that can take some time. But on a ship crossing the ocean, a wonderful way to tell where you are by using the stars, time of day and so on. If you can see any point of land its very helpful and the sextent is used in a different way than shown in movies.
Honestly using one should be part of getting a captains license, maybe is? But if all your electronics go out, this may save your life. And the best thing, is it can be a fun exercise on a long trip to keep you connected to the area you are in.
Sextants can also be used on land by the way, it’s merely a tool to help define where you are and what time it is. I was thought to use oil in a pan to reflect the sun off of. Cool stuff. Stuff I use even today to see if the anchor is slipping or boat is moving. Using markers on the horizon.