Speaker David Neigh talking about – Navigation Through the Ages

David Neigh, a member of Teignmouth Yacht Club, made a presentation to Bishopsteignton Probus Club about navigation through the ages.   He started by clarifying the terms “exploration” and “Navigation”.  To help club members understand the difference, he talked about Christopher Columbus, the famous maritime explorer who set off from Spain in 1492 to find a sea route to China and in the process he “accidentally” found America.  It was a time in history when some people still thought the World was flat and feared falling off the edge when exploring the seas.  Whilst Columbus was fully aware that the Earth was round, not a lot was known about the shape and sizes of many countries and oceans; early explorers relied more on guesswork rather than navigation aids to find their way around the oceans,

Whilst Columbus had little in the way of navigation tools to help him, the tools soon became available and were important in helping sailors to find their way at sea and David gave his audience a clear and sophisticated insight into the development of navigation systems, including the important lines of latitude and longitude, star charts and the use of maritime sextants to measure and position the stars in order to accurately determine where the ship was when crossing the seas.

It was an interesting talk, reflecting a sharp contrast to the modern world of GPS which helps so many  people to navigate, whether it is at sea, in the air or on land, especially when we travel by car using a SATNAV.

Attached photo: Probus Club chairman Peter Hartley (left) thanked David Neigh for his presentation.

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