Some time ago, Gene Grossman signed on as a crew-member with some friends of his who were delivering a large sailboat with no navigation electronics from Marina del Rey California, through the Panama Canal, to a charter company’s tropical island location.
On the evening of departure, Gene asked the young skipper (Ron) which crew-member was going to be acting as navigator. Ron answered “I am.” Gene responded, “Oh, I didn’t know you knew celestial navigation.” Ron said “I don’t, but I will by the time we get down to Baja.”
When Gene asked Ron how he intended to learn celestial navigation in the next week or so, Ron responded, “No problem, Gene, you’re going to teach it to me.”
At that point in time Gene did not know anything about celestial navigation, and when he confessed that lack of knowledge, Ron said, “that’s okay; I’ve got some books about it on board, and I know you went to college, so you can learn it and teach it to me.”
Gene was relieved of ‘watch’ duty and spent the next couple of weeks immersing himself in the subject. By the time they reached Cabo San Lucas, Gene was on the beach giving lectures to other boaters desirous of a celestial navigation refresher course.
Bottom line: There is no shortage of books that purport to teach you the classic art of Celestial Navigation, but almost all fall short in one way: they lose you early on by using terms you’ve never heard of, assuming that you already have that knowledge. The writers of those books just don’t have the ability to ‘dumb things down’ to the level of absolute beginner.
Gene Grossman solves that problem by assuming that you are a complete idiot, and talks down to you in such a simple way that you’re sure to understand everything simple step that he clearly explains.
This is the perfect book for any boater interested in improving his or her navigational skills, and would like to look into proper use of the sextant to navigate around the world without depending on the reliability of several expensive electronic devices.
There are no complicated drawings, no mathematical problems, no big astronomical words you’ve never heard of, and no reason to feel like the idiot you are with respect to celestial navigation.
Reading this book is guaranteed to raise your level from ‘Idiot’ up to being merely ‘Navigationally Challenged,’ and will also suggest how to further elevate your status to that of Competent Navigator.