Personal Navigation Stories

Everyone has a story — what's yours?
Have you sailed the open seas?
Has GPS ever let you down?
Have you ever used the technologies on display in our exhibition?

SHARE YOUR STORY!

May 2, 2015

I am a Flight Instructor and university professor. I love to teach people to fly and the best part is teaching them to navigate. Charts, plotters, and manual flight computers are the things I love. I am also a potter of clay and several years ago I started transforming clay into "ancient" navigational instruments. I make sundials, star charts, latitude and longitude finders, and solar calenders - all from clay that becomes stone.

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February 14, 2014

Back in 1988 I started to seriously consider taking flying lessons. I really didn't know if I could afford it, but decided that the best way to minimize cost was to learn as much as I could before I ever got in the airplane.

To that end I enrolled in ground school a the local community college. I was fascinated by navigation. I realized that once I left the ground there would not be any street signs! Navigation had to be high on the list of new skills I needed to learn.

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June 6, 2013

I learnt celestial navigation with my father when I was in my early teens in the 1970s. Lots of fun. And just for the fun of it, in my first year of college I took a Navigation course from the ROTC group at the university. The summer after that first year, I was in Hong Kong (where my parents were living) and was asked to be part of a crew of six to sail someone’s 55’ sailboat from Hong Kong to Japan. What an adventure!

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April 17, 2013

All my life I have read about the great sailing adventures of people like Columbus and Magellan but it was not until 18 years ago that I came across the story of John Harrison and his four great Sea Clocks. It was a startling reminder, a revelation really, that all the early voyages of discovery were done aboard ships that were lost at sea. These explorers sailed without the knowledge of their longitude.

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April 12, 2013

... over the grasslands of east central Texas at 1,500 feet in a Cessna Cardinal. I was only seventeen and had only held my private pilot's license for several months. A friend and I decided to fly from Baton Rouge to check out the UT Austin campus as we were getting our undergraduate applications in order - what better way to build some flight time and satisfy a teenage wanderlust.

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