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celestial navigation course

Celestial navigation course Navigate using the Sun and stars

“It was such a difference to be taught in language I understood and by someone who could really explain it. A superb course”

“Not only did this course teach me astro navigation, but they are so passionate about the whole subject, the stars and what goes on up there, that I went and bought a telescope too! It has started a life long interest for me. I can’t recommend it highly enough”.
Kelsey Tillman – Maine, USA


A celestial navigation course suitable for beginners. It is magical to be able to navigate a yacht using just the sun, moon, planets, and stars.  chart a path with the aid of a sextant is an essential navigating skill. In this intensive two day course, an expert instructor will help you get to grips with celestial navigation. There is no complex mathematics, and anyone with a basic understanding of coastal navigation can attend. 

Thrive with the Rubicon 3 10:2 teaching method

Rubicon 3 matches our expedition sailing expertise with advanced teaching methods. Every topic is broken down into ten minutes of really rich teaching input and deep content. Students are then given 2 minutes to digest the content and discuss it with a fellow student or write notes individually. Especially for complex topics such as navigation, these short, sharp segments prove to be a transformational approach to learning. Read more about our approach below.

Key Points

  • No previous celestial knowledge or equipment required
  • Classroom based
  • Teaches you full celestial process
  • Courses run in London and Portsmouth. See drop-down for dates & locations

What's Included

  • All course materials including course notes and equipment.
  • Morning and afternoon tea.

What's not Included

  • Overnight accommodation
  • Lunch
  • FAQ

The course is taught in various parts of the country. When you select different dates from the drop-down you will see the location.


Unit 27, Victoria Quay, The Cooperage, Weevil Lane, Gosport, PO12 1AX. (Free parking available at this location)

All teaching is in a classroom, led by an expert Rubicon 3 instructor. Class sizes are limited to 8 students, to ensure that you have proper levels of interaction with the instructor. Students come with all different levels of prior knowledge, but do not worry. The entire syllabus is taught from the beginning, and no knowledge of the syllabus is expected prior to starting

The simple truth is that shore based courses in the sailing industry are often taught by people who have done very little sailing outside of their local area. This hugely limits their skills and experience, beyond repeating the same anecdotes and lines lesson after lesson.

At Rubicon 3, we sail year round to some of the world’s most remote and challenging regions. We are constantly learning, evolving and improving our approach to sailing and navigation. When you learn with us, you will be getting expert instructors teaching the latest approaches to the theory.

If you have been listening for longer than 10 minutes, then it’s time to stop. Any longer than that and whatever is coming out of the instructor’s mouth isn’t going to be having much impact. You will increasingly switch off because it is simply too much new information. It needs to be processed, before more information can be digested.

“To keep students engaged, you must win the battle for their attention every 10 minutes”.

The idea of teaching in 10 minute segments is well recognised as the approach that works. It is variously known as‘Chunk and Chew’, ‘Turn and Talk’, ‘Stop and Jot’ and  ‘Listen-Stop-and-Write’.

It works like this:

  • The instructor breaks all the content down into manageable portions and then allows time for learners to digest the information.
  • Students receive 10 minutes of rich teaching and content (listening, watching, reading)
  • They are then given 2 minutes to digest & discuss the content with a fellow student or to write notes individually.

It is well recognised now that when information is delivered in chunks, we remember more and the 2 minutes given for chewing is vital for absorbing, processing, discussing and comprehending. The research shows that the key to mastery of new concepts is frequent and persistent review of material.

The two minute breathers ensure the brain has a break and can consciously and subconsciously replay the content. Taking a breather also allows students to generate questions.

What time does my course start and finish?

Start: 0900hrs on Monday

Finish: 1600hrs on Friday

Do I need to book overnight accommodation?

Yes, unless you live nearby. These are not residential courses.

Is everything else I need included?

Yes. Your course comes with all the course notes you will need. You do not need to bring any other equipment. It is all provided.

Learn the end to end process of astro navigation

  • Introduction
  • Essential mathematics (not hard!)
  • Celestial navigation explained in 15 minutes
  • Hour Angle explained
  • Greenwich Hour Angle (GHA)
  • Local Hour Angle (LHA)
  • Circle of Equal Altitude
  • Nautical Almanac
  • Sight Reduction Tables
  • Using a sextant
  • Tuning
  • Measuring altitude
  • Plotting
  • Planets, stars, other celestial bodies


Course Fee



2 Days (Saturday & Sunday)

Previous experience required

Some coastal navigation experience is desirable.

Course overview

2 days of expert tuition from Europe’s leading adventure sailing school


Various. See drop down.

Who we are

Blueco Holdings Ltd, t/a Rubicon 3 Adventure
20 – 22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU

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