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Five-star guide for when you've lost the plot

The Practical Guide to Celestial Navigation, by Phil Somerville

book_practical_guide_to_celestial_navigation_web_cover.jpgLanding page image: sailboat at sunrise. MBBirdy/Getty Images

In his new work The Practical Guide to Celestial Navigation, experienced yacht sector instructor Phil Somerville has produced a superbly engaging educational resource.

The Derby-born yacht master admits he picked a vast topic to cover, so he has largely confined himself to teaching sailors how to fix their position using the largest celestial object in the sky – the sun.

This step-by-step guide is aimed at those interested in qualifying as commercial skippers or masters as well as yacht sailors seeking more independence or a back-up resource to use onboard.

Being able to fix your position with a sextant anywhere in the world is a skill not to be dismissed, not least because it is still considered to be required learning by many maritime organisations, and also because it could be vital in the event of an electrical failure or GPS signal blocking by pirates or via military intervention, says the author.

The book is well structured, with clearly-drafted coloured diagrams and a raft of checklist sheets and plotting charts.

Even a maritime novice may be inspired to dream of mastering this timeless skill, or to be a fly on the wall when the author teaches aboard high-latitude sailor Skip Novak's exploration vessel Pelagic Australis.

The Practical Guide to Celestial Navigation
By Phil Somerville
Adlard Coles, £30
ISBN: 978 14729 87587


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