Sextant - Guided by the Stars | Books | RMG Shop – Royal Museums Greenwich Shop
Sextant - Guided by the Stars

Sextant - Guided by the Stars

Regular price £10.99 Sale

In the tradition of Dava Sobel's ‘Longitude’ comes sailing expert David Barrie's compelling and dramatic tale of invention and discovery – an eloquent elegy to one of the most important navigational instruments ever created, and the daring mariners who used it to explore, conquer, and map the world.

This is the story of an instrument that changed the world. In prose as crisp as the book’s subject, David Barrie tells how and why the sextant was invented; how offshore navigators depended on it for their lives in wild and dangerous seas until the advent of GPS – and the sextant’s vital role in the history of exploration. Much of the book is set amidst the waves of the Pacific Ocean as explorers searched for the great southern ocean, charted the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Alaska as well as the Pacific islands. Among the protagonists are Captain James Cook, the great French navigator, La Pérouse, who built on Cook's work in the exploring the Pacific during the 1780s, but never made it home, George Vancouver, Matthew Flinders – the first man to circumnavigate Australia, Robert FitzRoy of the Beagle, Joshua Slocum, the redoubtable old ‘lunarian’ and successful pilot of a small boat across the wild Southern Ocean and Frank Worsley of the Endurance.

Their stories are interwoven with the author’s account of his own transatlantic passage aboard Saecwen in 1973, using the very same navigational tools as Captain Cook, and the book is infused with a sense of wonder and dramatic discovery.

A heady mix of adventure, science, mathematics and derring-do, ‘Sextant’ is a timeless tale of sea-faring and exploration. A love letter to the sea, it is narrative history for star gazers and sailors, for everyone with a love of salty breezes and a sense of adventure. Beautifully produced, ‘Sextant’ offers storytelling at its very best.

Paperback: 368 pages

+ Read more - Show less
  • FREE UK Delivery for orders over £60

    Please allow 2-3 working days to receive your order from the time you placed it.

    All UK orders are sent using a tracked service. Please see our Delivery & Returns page for more information, including some exceptions as follows.

    Custom Prints (those which are customised by choosing a size and frame) take a little longer to fulfil due to being made to order.

    The Bremont Limited Edition Longitude is sent via a DPD 2-3 working day service.

    FREE UK delivery for all orders over £60.

    For all other orders, we offer a flat rate of £4.95 per order.

  • International Delivery Information

    Delivery rate varies by country and value of order, and starts from as little as £6.95. 

    Please allow 1-2 working days for your order to be dispatched.

    We send using a Royal Mail/Parcelforce tracked delivery service.  Please allow 5-7 working days to receive after we have dispatched, although due to ongoing coronavirus measures, some customers may experience further delays.

    Please see our Delivery & Returns page for all information, including some exceptions as follows.

    Custom Prints (those which are customised by choosing a size and frame) take a little longer to fulfil due to being made to order.

  • Returns Policy

    For all returns, please contact us as soon as possible using the contact form, expressing your wish to return. Please wait for confirmation from one of our team before returning. Under new safety measures, returns will be held for 3 working days before handling.

    Please see our Delivery & Returns page for full information.

  • Every purchase supports the work of Royal Museums Greenwich

    All proceeds from all purchases made on the Royal Museums Greenwich online shop support the work of the museum. 

    Should you wish to, you can now add a voluntary donation to your order. All donations, big or small, will make a difference.

    Thank you for your continued support.