Though sextants are no longer used by most bluewater navigators, they are still objects of fascination to a certain passionate sect of sailors. On the one hand they are merely precision measuring instruments. On the other they seem like magical tools employed by celestial priests and druids. For those who worship the very concept of the sextant, here is a book that should satiate even the most curious of intellects. Compiled by a retired physician who has spent years collecting and restoring sextants, The Nautical Sextant reviews every working part of these instruments in minute detail. Lavishly illustrated with color photography, the text describes how the sextant developed and how different manufacturers resolved the same mechanical puzzles in different ways. Though it will be most useful to those few who, like the author, restore sextants as a hobby, it will also be of interest to any who still enjoy using sextants to find their way in the world.
MOB: A Whistle in the Wind
Mark Wheeler went overboard a few minutes before midnight. He was in the middle of Lake Michigan, 30 miles offshore in 40 knots of wind. As he fumbled for the lanyard to inflate his lifejacket he watched his racing sailboat, Meridian X, disappear into the night at more than 18 ...read more