Maritime Books of The Week – Navigation

Shiptalk, the British mariner’s website, has a book suggestion for us:

Longitude the Book

“The Last Navigator”; by Steve Thomas, chronicles the author’s time as an apprentice to one of the world’s last Polynesian “Poy”, or navigator. While Europeans were dragging their knuckles in the mud hiding in caves from lightening, and even Asians were afraid to travel beyond the sight of land, these people were accurately sailing thousands of miles beyond the horizon using the stars, currents, clouds, and even sea life to set their courses.

Thomas traces the history of this rapidly disappearing art from its earliest roots some 7,000 years ago to the present day, as well as carefully documenting his time studying under a Master Navigator whose skills are passed only through hands-on instruction, and verbal history. Lots of real world details, illustrations, tables, and useable knowledge for any serious mariner. Also, he happens to be a good writer so the book is an easy read.

For anyone interested in the art and science of navigation, this is a must read.

Our favorite navigation book is undoubtedly “Logitude” by Dava Sobel. The tale of how the most difficult problem of the time was solved by a simple clock maker.