Wayfinding:

 

Wayfinding is the navigation in open seas without any assistant of navigational instrument of any form. The wayfinders merely observe the stars overhead, the sun, the swells of the ocean and other signs of nature for clues to direction and location. This method is used for voyaging for over 1000s of years before the invention of European navigational instrument.

 

In wayfinding, the star compass is used. (This may sound a little ironic, because, technically, NO instrument is suppose to be used in wayfinding)

 

The star compass is actually a mental construction for navigation, so itís not exactly an instrument. Hawaiian names are used of the houses of the stars, which includes the place where the star comes out of the ocean and go back into the ocean. The star path also reads the path of birds and the direction of waves. So, all one has to do to be able to navigate is to memorise, memorise and memorise!

 

The navigator cannot look up at the stars and immediately tell his position. This is only possible if he had memorized where he had sailed from. Thus, the navigator has to constantly observe his surroundings (Like the motion of birds, fish paths and other behaviours of animals etc.) for clues and constantly remember his speed, direction and time. NO compass, NO speedometer, NO watch is used. This technique of navigation requires A LOT of experience to make it work and a good memory.

 

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