Reply To: Clouds and Navigation

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Clouds and Navigation Reply To: Clouds and Navigation


    May be a stretch, but check with the Cloud Appreciation Society. It’s a lay person’s org, but the founder may know of historical citations.

    I did a quick search for “navigation” in their forum. It turned up a recent post:

    Harvard Physics Professor John Edward Huth wrote this excellent book: The Lost Art of Finding Our Way, a few years ago and I have recommended it often since. For the interests of this group, Huth explores how people of the past knew how to observe myriad elements of their environment. In particular, he describes how clouds of various formations foretell weather in the chapter, “Red Sky at Night”, with the physics of clouds depicted graphically, and folk aphorisms that meld science and poetry. The pages on ancient navigation are particularly fascinating – I am intrigued by the Viking explorers’ sunstones – translucent crystals used for mapping when the sky was too overcast. And there are explanations of refraction, mirages, how the sun has already set when we still see it – and much more that leaves me humble with my lack of deeper knowledge of phenomena that occur all around me all the time, that our ancestors probably took for granted was common knowledge.