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Navigating By Octant


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


2017May13_Departure_Credit Jeffrey G Katz (38)

Saved By The Bell … For Now

The 2018 Maryland Legislature adjourned yesterday and among the last-minute bills that passed was a resolution to fund the Pride of Baltimore II, the globe-trotting sailing ambassador for Baltimore City and the state of Maryland, to the tune of $500,000 annually. Despite the funding, the tall ship is still facing a yearly $700,000 budget shortfall.


Building Arabella By Hand

Plenty of people might call friends Stephen Denette and Alix Kreder crazy. The two are building a 38-foot Atkins ketch in their backyard — from the keel up, using trees they felled and milled themselves.


Head: VIDEO: The Home Stretch

Launched on Oct. 5, 1889 at Tilghman Island, Maryland, the bugeye Edna E. Lockwood is undergoing a complete restoration at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland. Among the work completed to date was the total removal and replacement of her nine-log bottom. This video has an update about the wrap-up work being done before Edna is relaunched later this year.


By the Book

These are the five rules of the road every boater should know.


VIDEO: “Lava Bomb” Injures 23 On Hawaiian Tour Boat

A tour boat navigating around a coastal lava flow in Hawaii this week was struck by a large chunk of lava, injuring 23 people. The basketball-size rock punctured the boat’s roof and covered its deck with volcanic debris


Cow Hair What?

Anyone who’s been around wooden boat building knows about using oakum or cotton to seal the spaces between wood planks. But cow hair? You just have to see it to believe it

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Florida Continues Post-Michael Recovery Efforts

It’s been nearly two weeks since Hurricane Michael roared ashore near Mexico Beach, Florida. Recovery efforts are expected to last months, especially for marinas, dry stacks and other marine-related businesses.