Chris Nolan

Explore the Skies with SEA

Join celestial navigation expert Captain Chris Nolan for an online seminar series about celestial navigation. This online program is ideal for lifelong learners and those interested in understanding more about how to navigate using the stars, planets, moon, and sun. A great idea as a holiday gift for the navigator in your life, or maybe for yourself!

Classes will be held online every Thursday at 6 p.m. from January 5th to February 7th. $399 per student.

This course meets for five weekly sessions online in the depth of winter, to allow you to get practice with celestial navigation before the 2023 boating season begins!  Meetings are Thursday evenings, east coast time, for 2 hours each.  During each session you’ll interact with Chris and a limited-size class.  Topics include sextants and navigation instrument history, using the sun for noon latitude, using the sun for lines of position, using the stars and planets for lines of position, and using the moon for lines of position.

The course culminates in an optional in-person session in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to practice celestial navigation (weather permitting).

Included in the course is a set of loaner books and publications which could be purchased for an additional fee. Sextants are not required for the course.

No experience in navigation is required, but a keen interest in learning the mathematics and theory of celestial navigation will go a long way towards fully enjoying this course.  The course does not result in professional certification, but further resources and avenues for professional certification are discussed and provided.

For more information, contact the instructor at or

A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Chris Nolan served as Navigator / Operations Officer aboard the USCGC Eagle, and was commanding officer of the USCGC Dorado and USCGC Jefferson Island. An expert in shipboard navigation procedures and the author of Eagle Seamanship: A Manual for Square Rigger Sailing (Naval Institute Press) and The Cutterman’s Guide to Navigation Problems. At SEA, he is Assistant Professor of Nautical Science and has captained dozens of SEA voyages around the world.