by John Karl

Its been a long time since we’ve seen a completely new and different book on celestial navigation. And this book is just that. For the first time we see a clear and accurate explanation of Celestial Navigation mysteries, such as the role of the “assumed position” in the intercept method, how celestial LOPs can be plotted with no assumptions, how to use hand calculators, computers, H.O. 229, and H.O. 249, including the pros and cons of each method. It explains eight special sights, such as Polaris sights, meridian sights, and finding latitude without meridian observations or time. Lunar distance sights are explained from the ground up, using only basic concepts, with no special formulas, or tables.

The revised and expanded book has a unique chapter on sextants and their properties, explaining the workings and effects of different horizon mirrors and telescopes, and their associated advantages and disadvantages. Various operations at sea are discussed: integrating Celestial Navigation with GPS for improving navigation skill, redundancy, and safety; a superior method of advancing LOPs; and how to make better landfalls with special LOP orientations.

Beginners will like the clear and authoritative explanations, arriving at a complete sight reduction in just 40 pages, accompanied by 72 exercises for plenty of practice and confidence building. Experienced navigators will appreciate the comprehensive fresh treatment of all topics, many never seen elsewhere. This might not be the only book you read on celestial navigation, but it certainly should be one of them.

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