Tools of the Trade
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Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the trade

I caught Salty at the nav station mulling over the days plotting sheet. At least I figure it was mulling as a look of confusion flashed his furry features before his usual Sir Salty Your Grace and Eminence countenance returned.

In all fairness, any confusion on his part would be shard by most sailors of any rank these days. Not everyone chooses to navigate the old fashioned way. Old fashioned in this context being pre-GPS.

Here’s what I’m using to find my way around the 5 Capes.
1. A sextant. I’ve got two aboard just in case one gets about or falls overboard. I’ve also got a Bris Sextant aboard, but it is a sun angle repeater and not a true sextant.
2. A nautical almanac. This tells me where the sun, moon, planets or stars are in relation to a fixed reference on the earth.
3. Tables. These are the S-Tables. This little guy solves the sperical geometry equations necessary to tell me where I am in relation to the heavenly bodies listed in 2 above.
4. Worksheets. These are used to do help simplify the steps necessary to work through the almanac and the tables.

That’s it. Even the things I’m using are vastly superior to the tools that were used to explore and navigate the globe by the great explorers, adventurers, and surveyors in modern history. To find your way in a vast emptiness with only the sea and sky to guide you is a deeply human experience. It is hard-wired into all of us. If it were not, we would not have survived for we would never have learned how to return to safety, return to a particular food source at a particular time of year, or avoid or enemies be they man or beast.

The birds, salmon, whales, and even the Monarch Butterfly all navigate great distances with ease. We humans need a little more help in the form technology and gadgets to even come close.

And with that said, I realize that Salty wasn’t confused at all. He figured I was seeing as I needed all this stuff just to get around. He was likely looking at the chart figuring out where we were when that flying fish came aboard so he could get us turned around and back there.

Follow my tracks in real-time:
https://bit.ly/svseaburban

 

16 Comments
  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)
    BZ

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

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