A Star to Steer By: Celestial Navigation Then and Now, Here and There
In the GPS age, steering a ship by the stars can seem like a mystical lost art. How did ships possibly manage to cross huge expanses of ocean and still make their intended landfall? What do you actually see when you look through a sextant? What do latitude and longitude really represent? Spend Saturday morning with the Museum’s public historian and expert navigator to explore the mysteries behind celestial navigation. Learn about the skills that ship captains relied on and hear about the difficulties ships faced in the eras before GPS.
About the Instructor:
Carl Herzog is the Public Historian for the USS Constitution Museum. Prior to joining the museum, Carl taught maritime history, celestial navigation and square-rigged seamanship on board a variety of educational tall ships sailing throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean. When not at sea, he also edited a series of nautical almanacs used for celestial navigation and coastal piloting. He holds a 500-ton Ocean Master’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard, a M.A. in history from the University of Rhode Island, and is currently completing a PhD dissertation through UMass Amherst on colonial-era smuggling between New England and the West Indies.