The Good News: The unbelievable speed and accuracy of today's electronics. I would not begin to suggest that you should not have at least one GPS system onboard at all times.
The Bad News: The marriage between salt water and electronics is often a rocky one and that's surprising, because they truly, really like each other, it's almost impossible to keep them apart. At some point, the GPS is going to fail and according to Murphy, there is a good chance it will happen on a sloppy night with limited visibility.
Even if you have a working GPS, you are going to need a 360 degree awareness of your position relative to your surroundings. When it is late at night, you are in foul weather, you don't have the time to go below decks and check the GPS - you need to be up on deck, controlling what is going on with the boat
The three navigation classes that we offer are:
Coastal Navigation (ASA 105): A nine week class that the student learns the skills required for using land based navigational aids to determine their position.
Celestial Navigation (ASA107): Navigation for the open ocean using celestial bodies (sun, moon,planets and stars).
EXAMPLE: This is one of our current instruction videos, this is exactly what you will see once enrolled.
WHAT: Learn to navigate, anchor, and most importantly arrive alive without the use of electronics. GPS is great until it stops working, so what do you do? You learn to navigate. Even if you have a working GPS, you are going to need a 360 degree awareness of your position relative to your surroundings. When it is late at night, you are in foul weather, you don't have the time to go below decks and check the GPS - you need to be up on deck, controlling what is going on with the boat.
WHY: There are three reasons to take these classes, 1. learning how to read a chart. we use the most accurate charts from 5 different countries, we believe that in order to ensure you are receiving the best instruction available the most recent charts are key. 2. learning all the old tricks from the days of the square riggers 3. learning to think in a 360 degree circle when you are out on the water (this is the most important in my mind). These skill ensure that regardless of GPS, electricity or visibility you will have the skills to navigate your ship and crew safely.
WHERE: Anywhere! All our navigation courses are taught through online seminars for a nine week period. You can learn from across the city, country or world and all in the comfort of you're home. Additionally each class is recorded and uploaded to your online class room, elearntosail.com. You will have access to all of the navigation courses to review and refer back too.
HOW: Through online seminars, you will be connected to not only the instructor but also to your fellow classmates, each seminar is live and you are able to raise your hand, interact, and clearly see what chart and instruction is being give. All necessary material and charts are sent to you prior to the first class. You are also given access to the recorded class, this comes in handy when doing homework. If you miss the first class don't worry! You can start whenever as all courses are available on our online school, elearntosail.com.
Both the Coastal and the Celestial course are 9 weeks in length - with the Celestial Endorsement being the first three weeks of the regular Celestial class. The exam night is the 10th week.
Writing the ASA Exam: If you live in the Denver area, you can take the exam on the 10th week of the course. If you live out of town, we can ship the exam to any facility (schools, library's, etc) that invigilates exams.