Ocean Sailing and Celestial Navigation

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Celestial Navigation
Taking a sun sight

The Celestial course is also a 7 day liveaboard course. Celestial Navigation is offered concurrently with the Ocean Sailing and Advanced Navigation course. The School of Ocean sailing teaches the assumed altitude method of sight reduction using H.O. 229 and the nautical almanac. Students also participate in radar and collision avoidance, weather, GPS, Nobeltec, SSB. Certificate awarded.

Course Outline

This course will teach the assumed altitude method of sight reduction. Instruction will stress:

  • Navigational astronomy
  • Sight Reduction using H.O. 229 and the nautical almanac
  • The marine sextant
  • Celestial running fix using the sun
  • Noon sight
  • Moon and sun fix
  • Compass deviation
  • Celestial navigation planning
  • Sight Reduction using the TI-89 and star pilot programs

The safety of the vessel, participants, and crew are our first priority and the instruction of safety is high on the list of learning objectives.

Marine celestial navigation uses the sun or the sun and the moon during the day time and only during the periods of time when both the ocean horizon and stars are visible together is it possible to do star sights. This period of time is called civil twilight and it occurs both at daybreak and sundown. Unless there is an artificial horizon built into a sextant you are not able to do celestial navigation during the hours of darkness.

All instructional materials for the Celestial Navigation course are provided, including marine charts, marine sextants, sight reduction tables, nautical almanacs, universal plotting sheets, books, and other materials related to this course.

All persons must wear flotation while underway. We provide deck-jackets, but bring your own “crewsaver”, etc. if you wish.



By reserving any course you agree to our Terms and Conditions and or Cancellation policy. Course cost is $1,875.00 per student. The School of Ocean Sailing’s secure on-line registration form will charge the supplied credit card a non-refundable deposit of $500.00 per student per course. The balance of $1,375.00 is due 35 days prior to the start of the sailing course.

After receipt of the deposit, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions on where to meet, what to bring and places to stay before or after course.

We are pleased to announce we are able to offer trip/cancellation insurance. Cover yourself РComparative Travel Insurance Quotes. Spirit Airlines is now flying to Saint Thomas, USVI (airport code STT). They have some really good deals.

Click here to view our complete 2015/2016 course schedule


Our Mission

The instructional mission of the School of Ocean Sailing is to teach offshore ocean sailing and ocean navigation in a live-aboard setting.

  • Personalized instruction from professional teachers
  • Teach sailing aboard a large, beautiful and well equipped offshore heavy displacement ketch
  • Teach navigation using modern electronic navigation equipment
  • Teach navigation using non electronic navigation procedures
  • Offer an ocean sailing experience under real ocean conditions
  • Instil confidence
  • Use high quality sextants and celestial navigation materials
  • Offer a balanced blend of formal instruction, practical experience and relaxation
  • Serve excellent food
  • Anchor or Moor in quiet anchorages


What they say about us / Magazine articles and reviews

USA Today Article School of Ocean Sailing

A mention about our sailing school in USA Today Travel Tips. Sailing Courses and Training in the Caribbean.


An in-depth article written by one of our students and published in Good Old Boat Magazine
Issue 21.

Blue Water Sailing Magazine

A reference about the School of Ocean Sailing
in Blue Water Sailing magazine:
July 2007 page 71.