Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lesson 7: Navigation

Navigation refers to the science by which a vessel’s location, course, and destination at sea can be determined and plotted. This allows the navigator to avoid obstacles (in known positions but perhaps not visible), and the vessel’s course to be known and set. At the end of the day, there are four methods of navigation.

Celestial – using the sun, stars, and the moon in determining the vessel’s position.

Terrestrial (Piloting) – using earth based reference points, such as aids to navigation, landmarks, and or depth sounding to determine position.

Deductive (Dead) Reckoning – using a vessel’s speed, course, time, and previous known positions to deduce an approximate position.

Electronic – using GPS, LORAN, RADAR and other electronic instruments to determine position.

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