A new book about the sextant, and its role in the history of exploration and the charting of the world’s oceans

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My new book, Sextant – Guided by the Stars: A Transatlantic Voyage and the Men who Mapped the World, is to be published by William Collins in the UK and William Morrow in the USA in the spring of 2014.  It’s about the invention of the sextant and its vital role in the exploration and mapping of the world – from the mid-eighteenth century until its recent, almost unnoticed eclipse by GPS.   It includes accounts of many of the great voyages of discovery – as well as my own transatlantic passage in a 35-foot wooden yacht in 1973 when a retired naval officer taught me how to navigate by the sun and stars using a sextant.

Best-selling author Simon Winchester has this to say about Sextant:  “As lovingly and painstakingly constructed as the navigators’ one irreplaceable talisman, this exquisite book is a hymn to a now-vanishing feature of maritime life, a finely-chased reminder of just how much we all owe to that one small piece of apparatus, the sextant.”

Watch this space for more news soon!

David Barrie

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