Navigation Masterclass: Secrets of the South Pacific Wave Pilots
Dr Sam Willis speaks with John Huth, the Donner Professor of Science at Harvard who works mainly in the field of experimental particle physics. He is in fact a member of the international team that discovered the Higgs Boson particle. He has also, however, written a rather wonderful book on navigation – The Lost Art of Finding Our Way – in which he contends that even the most confused of us can improve our navigational understanding by paying closer attention to the world around us. Long before GPS, Google Earth, and global transit, humans traveled vast distances using only environmental clues and simple instruments. And the question John wants an answer to is this – what is lost when modern technology substitutes for our innate capacity to find our way? We’re exploring some of those themes today by looking at the wave pilots of the Marshall Islands who read the patterns of swell in the ocean to orientate themselves in their unique archipelago.