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Origins and Primary Areas of Navigation, Continued - 14221_20
Origins and Primary Areas of Navigation Background From  the  beginning  of  recorded  time,  man  has  traveled  on  the  water. He  left  port  without  the  ability  to  steer  a  course.  He  was  at  the  mercy of  the  sea,  with  his  direction  being  determined  by  the  wind  and  currents. Eventually,  he  faced  the  problem  of  how  to  get  to  where  he  wanted  to go.  As  a  result  of  this  problem-solving  process,  navigation  was  born. The  early  days  of  navigation  were  dubious  at  best.  During  this  period  in time,  navigation  was  considered  an  art.  This  soon  changed  with  the addition  of  science. Modern  day  navigation  has  aspects  of  both,  it  is  considered  an  art  and  a science.  On  one  hand,  navigation  is  a  precise  science  comprised  of complicated  mathematics,  precision  instruments,  and  state  of  the  art machinery. On  the  other  hand,  it  is  the  skill  in  the  use  of  these  tools and  the  interpretation  of  information  that  is  an  art.  Many  operations conducted  in  the  area  of  navigation  require  the  use  of  precise instruments  and  mathematical  tables  and  sound  judgment  based  on experience. The  seasoned  navigator  uses  all  available  information  and  a  certain measure  of  judgment  to  say  “Our  position  is  here  on  a  chart.” Primary  Areas Navigation  is  divided  into  four  primary  areas:  piloting,  dead  reckoning, of  Navigation celestial  navigation,  and  radionavigation.  These  areas  are  listed  in  the sequence  in  which  they  probably  evolved  as  knowledge  and  abilities progressed. We  will  now  briefly  look  at  each  area. Piloting Piloting  may  be  defined  as  the  movement  of  a  vessel  with  continuous reference  to  landmarks,  aids  to  navigation,  depth  sounding,  and radionavigation. Example: Our  early  navigator  probably  departed  port  and  set  his  or  her course  towards  a  distant  landmark.  This  may  have  been  any  number  of things,  an  offshore  island  or  a  lone  jagged  rock  outcropping.  The navigator  steered  on  this  landmark  and  tracked  his  progress  by landmarks  passing  down  the  port  and  starboard  sides  of  his  ship. Piloting  as  a  technique  has  not  changed.  The  difference  between  our early  navigator  and  the  present  navigator  is  the  use  of  technology. 1-3

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