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The Art of Navigation

A creative writing piece written by NEC student Amelia Ruff that discusses the use of a compass during travel.

A compass sitting on top of a world map.

Introduction

Hello, my monthly blog readers. The last few blogs have been about some small local adventures that I have experienced, this blog is of a different note. This is a creative writing piece that dives into navigation. Everyone is familiar with the compass, but do you know other ways? This story is written from the perspective of the compass. Have you ever wondered if your tools have feelings or have an internal dialogue? Well just maybe you will be surprised. Enjoy!

The Art of Navigation

As I fulfill my soul with confidence, and gratifying statements such as I’m steady, focused, and will always point you in the right direction. I do worry though that my beholder will one day toss me aside for the now popular natural navigation way and tools. I ask myself with Apprehension, “What do they hold that I do not”?

I have seen other explorers use such techniques like using these so-called Stars to steer them about or studying the green moss which lays upon the surrounding trees, rocks, and ground. Did they reach their destination?

As I reflect, how well am I doing my job? I can detect three types of north! True, magnetic, and grid. My accuracy may vary by a few degrees but surely, I’m still navigating you towards the right direction, True North. I can’t promise you that your journey will not be met with such obstacles like raging rivers and steep cliff sides. But you do not ask that of me. You ask me for general guidance and a pathway to your destination.

 When you dust me off and place me in your knapsack you are ready to seek an adventure.

I know that there are many different tools to be had but are they the best tool for the unknown outdoors? What are their strengths and strategies?

Tracking your way on the high seas using the stars is most certainly the appropriate method. However, the skies need to be clear and you must hold a thorough understanding of how to locate the North star or Polestar as it is formally called. The common myth of just looking for the brightest star in the sky is found to be quite unreliable. This might not be the best tool to use if you are an average joe explorer.

For finding your way by reading the moss, well that is like reading tea leaves. First you need to identify moss versus algae or fungus. Do you really have the time to critically analyze the fine points of finding moss that is growing above knee level, in the shade during midday which is the only way to accurately navigate north by this method?

Before you even attempt to suggest those new-age technology methods let me remind you that I am your trusty companion that does not need any fancy sidekicks like batteries, satellite and safety covers, etc.

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