Being a sailor is a real cult of life, a desire to discover and explore, conquer and achieve. But besides the fact that almost every sailor is filled with the romance of distant wanderings, the craft of a sailor is a difficult job. This is especially true of the old days. Nowadays, almost everything is automated and any marine business becomes just a profession! Previously, they caught a favorable wind, fought a furious storm, led ships in the stars and sought to explore the world, discover new lands, and learn the unknown.
Navigation by the stars
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Today, ships are a safe way to cover distances, satellite communications provide the correct course, and the autopilot is independently capable of bringing the ship to any coast. And yet, even in our modern era, there are enough madmen! To a few of them, I include people who conquer the oceans on sailing yachts.
In this article, I want to tell you how to navigate the sea correctly when there is no satellite connection, compass and sextant. Who knows what may happen in our unusual life: ships can go to the bottom, a fisherman’s boat can be carried in a storm far from the coast, or you just want to test your knowledge, pass it on to children and give memory to the sea brave men who have walked the sea for the sun for centuries and the stars. Is this stuff important?
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The most reliable way to navigate the sea is undoubtedly the starry sky. For millennia, sailors followed the stars and discovered new lands: from the Papuans in New Guinea to the Vikings from the Baltic region, be it a raft or a fast drakkar, they were guided by the stars. In the northern hemisphere, as a rule, you should focus on the North Star, which stands above the North Pole.
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If we draw a line through the two brightest stars in the constellation Ursa Major, we can see the so-called Ursa Minor. The North Star is part of this constellation. Try to mentally run over the stars at night in the starry sky. Find the dipper of the big dipper, draw a line from the two brightest stars and see the bucket of the little dipper, and this is where the Polar Star will be. She’s always there! If you don’t have nav tables and sextant, then you will not be able to get the exact coordinates, but despite this, you can get an approximate data about the latitude in which you are, by measuring the angle at which the North Star is located relative to the horizon.
You need to draw the lines very carefully. Inattention, even with an error of 10 degrees, can cause a course deviation of 600 nautical miles (over 1,000 km).