Simple Celestial: Navigation by the Heavens Made Easy
Simple Celestial is an instructional manual on the art of celestial navigation. The manual is clear, succinct and thorough in presenting in a simple style the process of observing the Sun, Moon, planets and stars used in celestial navigation in order to derive a position fix any where in the world.
Referring to SIMPLE CELESTIAL, a comment from a popular online sailor’s forum states “probably the best manual on celestial navigation there is, but difficult to find.” CDR Kreitlein’s book, the textbook for his classes in celestial navigation, has generally only been available at sailboat shows where it is always a best seller, but now we are happy to make it available through our catalogue to a wider audience. Eschewing theory, the author sticks to the basics of reducing a sight to a position fix, using the standard methodology presented in a host of other manuals. What sets this particular manual apart is his truly simple, clear and concise wording that anyone from high school onward can easy grasp. Indeed, after retiring from the Navy, CDR Kreitlein taught high school and knows how to simplify difficult material. One glaring inadequacy of most manuals on celestial navigation is the poor quality of their sight forms. Nearly all are limited to one observation per page and are filled with confusing descriptions and extraneous spaces. Modified from the Navy’s actual sight forms, those herein are, again, simple, clear and concise, and allow three observation to be completed on one single form. Anyone working in the confines of a small sailboat with limited desk space will appreciate that fact. Finally, the author is not a long-deceased, inaccessible heroic relic from the past, but is still an active, small boat sailor who continues navigating with celestial navigation today. He is readily available both online and on the telephone to answer questions from his students. In fact, he frequently can be found at our booth at the Annapolis Sailboat Show where he will autograph your copy of his manual.
The process of celestial navigation as presented in the manual uses an assumed position to derive an intercept that is the basis for a line of position from the heavenly body. Additionally, the manual explains the alternate method of observing the Sun at local apparent noon for a position fix. Using either method and with the appropriate supporting tools, the student will find the manual an excellent guide in completing the sight reduction form to arrive at a solution. The manual deliberately relegates theory to a small chapter in the back, concentrating rather on the practical aspects of celestial navigation. Paperback 136pgs.
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