Saturday, January 9, 2016

It's Only Me- Chapter 22 - Concerning Navigation

It occurs to me that much has been left out so far in my narrative concerning Navigation. It is at once an art and a science which has derived from 3,000 years of man studying the heavens.

It is the means whereby a man takes a sextant and measures the altitude of a star or planet. That measurement is between 0 and 90 degrees, from the Horizon to the Zenith.

The altitude is then reduced to a horizontal line of position which correlates to a compass bearing, referred to as an Azimuth. By pretending that the bearing represents an object on the Horizon(such as a lighthouse) a line is drawn from it to your ship. Where three or more of these lines cross, the intersection, or small triangle which results, is your position on the terrestrial plane.

There is mothing more peaceful and serene than dealing in the science of mathematics while gazing at the heavenly bodies. It is,I believe, as close as one can come to God. And the early dawn, or evening's dusk, surrounded by ocean and sky, is as near as you can get to Creation.

Also I have not addressed the cultural aspects of this lifestyle. In just a few short years I had seen 3 continents, lived in 2 cities and witnessed my first Volcano at Etna. I had also seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa on a bicycle tour from Livorno to Florence, where I saw the great works of all the past masters. I had been living alot of my dreams and getting quite an education along the way.

I was seeing the world as it was never represented to me in school. It was an eye opener to realize that we are all connected by the mutual needs of food, shelter and employment. It was a lesson that I would never forget.

But some of my greatest trips were yet to come. I would shortly be poling down the Nile and crossing the desert from Giza to Cairo. And be chased from gold bazaars in Turkey by knife wielding Islamics when I asked them to make me a golden Star of David. But all that is still to come...

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