Columbus Sailed Using The Dead Reckoning Navigation Method

Columbus Sailed Using The Dead Reckoning Navigation Method

Getting around before maps or GPS was exactly as complicated as you could imagine. The dead reckoning method of navigation was more than likely the way Christopher Columbus arrived on new lands in the 1400s. This method was identified in his log and in his letters detailing his voyages—every change of compass heading and the distance covered was meticulously recorded, which is necessary for dead reckoning.

03:42

from Penzance Sailing Club

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Without GPS, another way to find your location would be through dead reckoning. (0:12)

  • 2

    Dead reckoning is one of the least accurate methods of finding our position, and dates back to early explorers. (0:22)

  • 3

    In order to use dead reckoning navigation, you need to know how far you've traveled. (3:00)

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