Is this book, readers discover navigational methods and tools within the setting of their use during a sea voyage of the period. This voyage, however, features a fictional crew and ship, carefully reconstructed from actual accounts and people. This approach aims to teach an adult audience about marine navigation within the cultural experience of people who actually travelled the oceans centuries ago. The strength of this approach lies in its reliance on primary sources, as all events, circumstances, narratives, and navigational problems and their solutions come from primary accounts. The reader does not need any special background or knowledge to understand these navigational topics.
The fictional voyage follows the merchant galleon Guyft from Bristol, England, to Virginia in North America in 1611, captained by Tristram Hame. Just as the voyage is a composite of many voyages of the era, Hame is a composite constructed from a study of his contemporaries. With this narrative technique, the reader can absorb seafaring and navigation as practised in 1611 as if aboard the ship, observing Hame and his crew. The navigational tools and methods are presented as Hame would have practised them. Navigational theory, methods, and instrumentation of the era are therefore discussed within economic, political, scientific, and religious contexts to learn how the early modern navigator experienced his world.
About the Author
Robert D. Hicks has enjoyed multiple careers including the U.S. Navy, criminal justice, and museums and historic sites. His central interests in astronomy and history have informed his passion for telling stories about the material heritage of science. He is currently Director, Mutter Museum/Historical Medical Library in Philadelphia, PA.