Introduction to Celestial Navigation:
Shamans, Shadows, Sextants and Ships

Online Class

Live Online Class - Thursday, July 28th, 2022

Time: 4:30 PM PT/ 7:30 PM ET
Duration: 90 Min

This online class will be available for 12-months to registrants to watch. We encourage live attendance to win American Sailing giveaways.

Early Bird Price$79
Ends Friday Jan 28th

Full Price$39

ASA Member Price$29

Have you ever been anchored at night and found yourself looking up at the sky thinking “How did the early sailors use the stars to travel the whole world?” 
Understanding the night sky can help you become a better navigator and sailor. After this webinar you will never look at a map the same way. This introductory class will help you get a better understanding of the science behind celestial navigation. It is also a fantastic first step for anyone interested in taking the ASA 107 Celestial Navigation course or the ASA 117 Basic Celestial Endorsement.


This introductory course is designed to be an enjoyable and interesting exploration that will reveal your truly innate understanding of navigation. You will see how ancient people used the Sun and Stars and how insights and simple techniques have evolved through history.  You will actually understand Babylonian arithmetic, see how to use a sextant, know why the North Star isn’t, what allowed England to navigate the world, and how GPS works. El Ashbaugh is a seasoned sailor and navigation teacher who believes that you should know the “why” as well as the “what”.  This course provides the concepts and structure upon which you will eagerly anticipate your future navigation classes, even if they aren’t celestial.


  • Origins of constellations for navigation
  • Early astrological events in human history
  • 3 Basics of Navigation: location, direction, and distance
  • Viking Sunstones
  • Babylonian Astronomy & Arithmetic
  • How a sextant works
  • Using The Nautical Almanac
  • Finding latitude using Polaris (or the Sun!)
  • What does latitude have to do with nautical miles?
  • How 17th century navigators traveled the world using only latitude 
  • Why is longitude measured in time (hours, min, etc)?
  • What is an analemma
  • How a little patio in Greenwich, England became the center of the Earth's time tracking
  • Using celestial navigation in an emergency
  • ...and more!




El Ashbaugh is a Physicist and Computer Scientist who has sailed and taught sailing for over 30 years during his US and European career in high technology and management. Retired from Silicon valley, he is the Director of Field Operations for the American Sailing Association where he works worldwide coordinating ASA with the owners, instructors and administrators in the sailing schools who all contribute to keep the sailing education profession first rate.

Introduction to Celestial Navigation:
Shamans, Shadows, Sextants and Ships


Simply lookup the promo code on the Member Benefits page inside the ASA Member Portal and then apply it during registration.

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