Welcome to the Barefoot Navigator Downloads Page. Here you will find all the pertinent information for this exiting course thats goal is to rekindle the navigation forms of the ancient seafarers. We hope you are as exited about this course as we are and we warmly welcome you to join us on this journey.

In developing a practical course based on The Barefoot Navigator a number of issues needed to be addressed. The illustrations in the book are in monochrome and would benefit from being in colour – and larger. We’ve done that. Some of the navigation tables are time-dependent and none of them are specific to St Vincent and the Grenadines. We’ve fixed that too. Also, over the years, some new concepts have come into fruition, the most important of which is Horizon Events. So far, there are two of these PDF files.

Barefoot Navigation Downloads

These are the preliminary materials for your course. They consist of:

  • Graphical PDF documents which update Jack Lagan’s book The Barefoot Navigator
  • A series of short movies that introduce some of the important concepts and
  • eLearning applications (apps) for your mobile devices

We recommend that you read, view or practise with all these resources before you arrive at Blue Lagoon.

We’ve also included some useful suggested downloads from other websites.

The Barefoot Navigator Videos

Horizon Events for The Barefoot Navigator
Grenadine Sea Birds by Jack Lagan.

The Barefoot Navigator Apps

Barefoot Navigation may be about wayfaring unplugged, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace the latest technology as a way of teaching it. There’s a lot we need to pack into seven days at sea so the more you can study in preparation, the more you’ll get from the course. Both apps work best with reasonably large screens.

Grenadine Seabirds

At the end of a busy day plunge-diving for squid or skimming for flying fish, you’ll see birds heading back to their nest sites. So, if you can recognize the local birds, know their feeding-range and where they nest, you have an extra clue to your whereabouts. Other sea birds can be spotted well offshore as they hunt for their next meal and they can give you valuable clues to your location. This app gives you an intelligence briefing on each of the Top Ten winged navigators of the Grenadines. An identification quiz based on 130 photographs then puts your new skills to the test.

Barefoot Astro Navigation

The advent of satellite navigation has elbowed the sextant and the almanac off the scene. Not such a bad thing, really, but the downside is that we’ve stopped looking at the night sky. The paths of rising and setting stars enabled the Pacific Islanders to expand across an area of ocean bigger than continental USA. This app teaches you how to identify the constellations, pick out the navigator stars and deduce their bearing on the horizon. This is an essential skill for the Barefoot Navigator so boost your knowledge of the heavens as much as you can before starting the on-board course.

Other Downloads

Here are two open source (free) downloads from other sites. We’ve found them to be useful, so we recommend them. We’ll probably add to the list and, if you have any suggestions, please post to the Forum.

Cartes du Ciel (SkyChart)

This excellent program was written by Patrick Chevalley and is available in English (if you’re not from Quebec). It enables you to put yourself on the planet on a specific date and time and view the night sky at that point. Even more usefully, you can start an animation and watch the movement of the constellations, seeing where key stars transit the horizon. Available for Windows and Apple Mac OS X from the website.

NavRules

Jack Lagan claims to be living evidence of the effectiveness of good eLearning software.Back in the mid-1990s, when he was studying for his RYA Yachtmaster Offshore ticket he used this handy “app” to get acquainted with the navigation rules. Written by a US Coastguard officer with the splendid name of Bruce A. Pennypacker, the app goes through day-shapes, lights and sounds and tests you in clear conditions, night and fog.