Very Special Sextant Deal
Chart plotters are brilliant things. They are mind bogglingly clever, but they do make some of us (me) rather lazy. It's all too easy to forget to mark up your paper chart or to forget to lay off the tides and just steer along the purple road. They have some drawbacks too. The data is not reliable everywhere, try using one in East Greenland and you will have a bit of a shock. The constant zooming in and out can confuse your timings, rocks will approach mighty fast or disappear altogether if you zoom out to far. But the worst thing about them is that they are really boring!

Now getting a position from a sextant is far more rewarding. Waiting for the sun to appear between the clouds or waiting for the mist to clear so you can see the horizon really adds to the excitement of sailing. I was sailing with Will Stirling in the summer and he is a great believer in the old methods. It inspired me to blow the dust off my old sextant and put it back into use. It won’t just be the sextant that will need the dust clearing, my grey cells will need kicking into action too. My old copy of Mary Blewitt’s Celestial Navigation will be studied once again. I’ll need to print out a few cheat sheets too!
I’ve only ever used the sun with my sextant. I think I have vague memories of using the moon once, but I’ll stick with the “easy” one. I don’t plan a long offshore voyage next year – St Kilda is back on the agenda. I’ll play with the “Star Spanner” and see what happens. Its bound to be more fun than a chart plotter!

To encourage you to enjoy the fine art of celestial navigation we are offering the Astra Split View and Light sextants at a great special price.

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