Shore-based Celestial Theory Course
5 1/2 days pleasant learning in Malta. Next course 6-11 February 2023
5 days of intense, yet friendly and relaxed learning
Discounted hotel prices which can be extended for some relaxing holidays in sunny Malta
Pleasant lunches and evening dinners with heartily sailing discussions
Feel the comradeship of the Reginasailing family – learning and sharing experiences together
Sophisticated, yet easy to use templates that guide you through the sight reduction calculations
The optional last half a day consists of the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory assessment (at no extra cost)
Course is held in English with explanations in German or Swedish possible
Obviously, there is more to ocean sailing than celestial navigation. The majority of the time during this shore-based theory course is, however, concentrated on thoroughly understanding celestial navigation. All celestial bodies – the sun, the planets, the 58 navigable stars, the Polaris and the moon – are individually approached and understood.
Other subjects of ocean sailing are, of course, also covered but more in a general turn. During evenings and, of course onboard Regina Laska, these can be expanded into long intense discussions as well!
The curriculum of the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shore-Based course in Malta consists of:
- Checking the sextant and correcting it for any perpendicularity faults, side error and index errors.
- Some sextant shots from the shores of the seaside hotel.
- The theory behind celestial navigation, including understanding how the Sight Reduction Tables have been compiled. This also covers the so called “PZX-Triangle”, many sailors find difficult to understand or even “spooky”.
- Understanding the necessary corrections in order to get from your accurate reading from the sextant to the true observed altitude of the celestial body.
- Understanding time and the importance of UTC
- Calculating how long after Greenwich, for which the tables are made up, the same thing happens at our longitude
- Understanding why Planets are called “The Wanderers” and how to easily find them on in the sky
- Performing a noon-sight by forecasting the Meridian Passage at my position and doing the most simple sight reduction at ship’s noon.
- Sight Reduction in order to get the Azimuth, Intercept and Position Line and drawing these in a chart
- Transfer a Position Line if you have moved between the observations
- Learning to draw your own chart by means of a Plotting Sheet
- How to check the deviation of your compass (e.g. after a lightning strike)
- Ocean passage planning (useful sources, routing charts, prevailing winds, ocean currents, great circle routes etc)
- Ocean meteorology, global weather, currents and trade winds
- Understanding Tropical Revolving Storms (Hurricanes etc), how to avoid them and possible escape routes
- Satellite and Terrestrial Communications (SSB, HAM, SatPhones, Internet)
Further subjects will be taught during the Ocean Qualifying Leg.
A great book, by the way, which covering all the subjects is “The Complete Ocean Skipper” by Tom Cunliffe. Another great book is the World Voyage Planner by Jimmy Cornell.
Please don’t forget to use your 10% discount code rs-BHAPGG10 when ordering from bookharbour.com.
The venue: The 5-star Corinthia St George Hotel:
After years at the 4-Star Corinthia Marina Hotel, we have been upgrade to the 5-star Corinthia St George Bay Hotel in St Julians for the same discounted price as before! And if you bring your spouse to participate at the course or, alternatively, just for him/her to enjoy the island during our day-time course hours, your partner pays no more than for the breakfast as an extra fee!
Prolong your stay over the week-ends to enjoy some own sight-seeing and exploration of this historically interesting island! Especially Valletta is definitely worth a visit!
The Corinthia St George is one of the absolute top hotels in Malta, offering us a first-class conference room with a direct exit to the pool area with sea view. The Hotel is situated directly by the sea and offers great opportunities for combining your RYA theoretical course with holiday. It can’t get any better!
Hotel prices for 2023 are (still!):
Superior single room with sea view: EUR 115 per night including breakfast
Superior double room with sea view: EUR 125 per night including breakfast
- Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course: 6-10 February 2023
- Yachtmaster Ocean Theory assessment (recommended to all participants. Included in the price): 11 February 2023
Number of participants:
In order to grant the exclusive character and an individual and efficient learning experience, the number of participants have been limited to around 10 students.
Price for the course:
- Course Fee: Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course (5 days): EUR 890 plus travel, food and hotel
- Assessment Fee: Yachtmaster Ocean Theory assessment (1/2 day) following the course: NIL, included in the above
- Hotell: The cost for the hotel nights are paid on site directly to the Corinthia hotel and booked via Reginasailing
- Coffee breaks, water, lunches and dinner which are shared equally between the joining participants (see below)
- Obviously your individual travel cost to Malta
Course price includes course notes, training and exercise booklet, training charts, assessment test, RYA certificate for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased course and the special Reginasailing celestial templates, which will facilitate learning a great deal and never let you down, even years after the course.
What to bring:
Please bring: pencil, eraser, colour pencils, notebook, divider, course plotter (navigation triangle or Portland Plotter).
If you have, bring your sextant and your tables, guide books and pilot charts you would like to dream over! It’s not necessary to bring these, but of course fun to share things from the “real world”!
During the course, we will, however, use the exercises made for the RYA sample almanac and RYA sight reduction table.
Coffee breaks are at 10:30 and 15:30. For EUR 5 per person and break you receive ample tea or coffee with cookies and homemade cake in the mornings and freshly made fruit sallad in the afternoons. These are enjoyed just outside our conference room in the sunshine! (well, almost always there is sun in Malta…)
Water bottles are supplied on our conference table and cost 3 EUR per large bottle. The total number of water consumed is divided through the number or participants (including me, of course). Typically the total consumption after 5.5 days cost around 20 EUR per person.
Lunches are planned, but not necessarily, to be enjoyed jointly. Some wish to have a lunch break on their own or having a short nap after an intense morning! Often lunches are great fun, I must admit, joining in for more talks about our joint sailing dreams…
To enjoy an efficient lunch, we choose from the menu and order during morning coffee breaks. At around 12:30 we walk over to the lunch terrace of the hotel at “Henry J Beans” which is then promptly served thanks to the fact that we ordered it during the morning break.
If your spouse or partner is making you company for a holiday on Malta but does not join the course, they are obviously very warmly welcome to join for lunches and dinners!
Dinners can be enjoyed on your own or jointly with the group. Typically I join you for most (but maybe not all) of the evenings. We enjoy dinners in my favourite restaurants in vicinity, trying out local Maltese food (e.g. at Gululu) or choose cozy Bianco’s on the exceptional rainy day. My favourite restaurant is OdyC Bistro overlooking Spinola Bay, by the way.
Possibly the top of evenings is when we jointly meet at the renown Royal Malta Yacht Club, (also famous for hosting the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race). As a member of the RMYC I may invite my participants as guests at this exclusive club. Weather permitting, we can do some night identifications of planets and shoot the moon from their terrace overlooking ancient Valletta before taking a drink on their terrace and eventually eat in their dinner area.
Flights and getting to and from the airport:
The hotel offers a shuttle service from and to the airport (approx 23 EUR) but the easiest way around on Malta is to download the BOLT-App to your smartphone and let one of the over 1,000 BOLT-drivers pick you up anywhere and drive you exactly where you need to go.
It is assumed that you have a working knowledge of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, but there will be no questions asked from the Offshore syllabus. This is all additional material and you do not need to prepare yourself for anything special. Most things you learn at the course will be new to you, so you don’t have to bother about any rehearsal of subjects you might think you have forgotten…
Reading Tom Cunliff’s book “The Complete Ocean Skipper” (see above) makes, obviously a great start and if you wish to prepare for anything, this book is awesome. Please don’t forget to use your 10% discount code rs-BHAPGG10 when ordering anything from bookharbour.com.
Please contact me, preferably including some short information about yourself, if you are interested to participate in one of the upcoming theory courses.