Principles of Celestial Navigation

The Intercept Method » Basics: Recap » Meet the Chief Quartermaster

Chief Sheedy: Hello, I'm Chief Quartermaster Tim Sheedy and I’m here to teach you the basics of celestial navigation. We’re going to go over a standard day’s work in navigation—dead reckoning, lines of position, and plotting on the Universal Plotting Sheets. A little background on myself: I’ve been in the Navy for 14 years and have served on several ships. I’ve served on two aircraft carriers and an amphibious assault ship, as well as the patrol coastal craft out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Currently I work at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., in the Astronomical Applications department. I’m currently standing in the U.S. Naval Observatory Library, the largest astronomy library in the United States and the second largest in the world.

Throughout my career I’ve learned that navigation is an art and a science. It’s vitally important to have the knowledge to be able to determine your ship’s position in a variety of ways. In order to stay proficient in celestial navigation, a person must hone their skills daily in preparation for those times there are no other fix sources available. After viewing the following videos you’ll build the confidence and skills to build apply the concepts of celestial navigation to determine your vessel's position. Now let's get to work.