Navigating By Octant

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If you’re like us, you may remember sitting at a chart table or in the cockpit of your boat surrounded by charts, pencils, parallel rules, a compass and a number of various other dead-reckoning tools. Even during the days of LORAN, an electronic navigation system based on radio antennas, a chart was required to fix your position. Today GPS is everywhere, and most people use some sort of gizmo or gadget on their boat to navigate. 

In the not too distant past when different types of instruments were used to read the stars. Sextants are relatively well-known in nautical circles, but not many folks have heard of an octant. Watch as Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum chief curator Pete Lesher describes celestial navigation instruments, as well as the interesting story behind one of their owners.

You can learn more about celestial navigation by reading Celestial Navigation 101: Master The Basics First, which initially appeared in the May 2016 issue of Soundings