Celestial Navigation for the Complete Idiot is groundbreaking not because of what it has, but what it doesn't have:
no mathematics problems
no astronomical talk
no big words you've never heard of
Sailor-author Gene Grossman finally breaks this wonderful subject down into plain English and explains it in such a way that you will no longer have any excuse to claim that you know nothing about the valuable boater's subject of celestial navigation. And as for the validity of the book's content, you should know that it was inspired by Gene's DVD program of the same title, which has gained worldwide popularity and is being used by the US Navy, DEA, Coast Guard, and sailing schools, and by sailors all over the world.
Even though we feel that the explanations in this audiobook are easy to understand, the old saying about a "picture being worth a thousand words" applies - especially when trying to describe what things like a nautical chart or a world with lines showing latitude and longitude does to help find a destination. So Magic Lamp Press has created a website with a few simple graphics that we suggest that you print out to make reference to occasionally as you listen to this book. The URL of the page of graphics will be given to you by the book's narrator.
Once you have finished this book, its title will no longer apply to you, because by the information you will have learned, your status description will have been updated to "novice." And with an understanding of what celestial navigation is and how it works, you will be in an excellent position to continue your practice of the subject, and become a sailor capable of sailing around the world without getting lost...so as a start, please remember the three most important rules of boating safety: Keep the water out of the boat; keep the people in the boat; and don't get lost.
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Interesting, Author's Story & Technique
In the upper middle. Since this is not a novel, it is hard to compare a guidebook to other audiobooks
In addition to the theory of navigation, One thing that was unexpected and good was the author's personal story of learning navigation,
Well, the simple answer is how to use a sextant!
Learning celestial navigation is a two-step process: first you have to
learn what a sextant measures, what to measure, why you measure it, what to
do with the measurement, and what the answer tells you – and this audiobook
does a really good job of explaining all of the theory involved in a simple
and easy-to-understand way. Second is the easy part: how to use the sextant
- but it’s also almost impossible to do in an audiobook, because without
being able to look through one, adjust the mirrors, and make some minor
adjustments to the instrument itself, it’s a lot like flying a plane… to
really get to know it you have to physically do it because it’s tough to
describe in a book. This author does a great job with the theory of what it
does and how it works, He also touches upon some things you should know
about using a sextant, so that when you finish this book all you have to do
is find an inexpensive plastic beginner’s sextant and practice, practice,
- Jerry Chapman
I've read the readers' comments below, but some of them are about years-old print and eBook versions. I've just listened to this newly-released audio version and it appears to have been updated, so that the previously complex theory of the subject is made extremely understandable - and just the chapter on avoiding seasickness was worth the price of the book.
Concerning the author's mention of the mysteries he's also written, he described just a few of them at the end, but there's probably a reason for that: most boaters interested in Celestial Navigation are cruising sailors with plenty of time to listen to books, and mysteries are a popular favorite.
And as for another comment suggesting Bowditch as a good source, yes... he was the accepted expert on the subject, but he wasn't expecting his works to fall into the hands of idiots like me... and even if he did, none of his books are available in an audio format, making this the only one on the subject you can listen to, and I recommend it as a starter if you're interested in the subject.
- Joseph Renzetti