The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport will take “Deep Dives into History” monthly during 2023.
This month’s program, “Navigation Tools in the Age of Sail,” will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. The free drop-in program designed for all ages will showcase the tools that helped seafarers of old explore the world. Registration is not required.
The “Deep Dive into History: Navigation Tools in the Age of Sail” program will include a hands-on activity. Using string, a weight, a straw, and paper, visitors will recreate and learn the basics of using a 1728 Gunter’s quadrant.
The program, developed by Museum Manager John Moseley, combines living historians, material culture displays and hands-on activities to provide visitors a greater understanding of the wide ranging and varied history of the region, the state and the country. A newly launched series, the first program featured dentistry in the Colonial age, and the second shared the history of local USOs during World War II.
“Latitude sailing and dead reckoning were two early methods to find your way, but both had their limitations,” Moseley said in a release. “The change in technology from a cross staff to the octant and the shift from maps to nautical charts greatly improved the abilities of the navigator to get where they were going safely.”
Moseley will set up and staff a station with many navigational tools on display, demonstrating how they were used.
“For sailors arriving in the Cape Fear River to trade for naval stores and rice, making sure these cargoes made it from one port to another took a great deal of mathematical skills, intellect, and sailing knowledge,” Moseley added.
“Part of our mission is to interpret the material culture pertinent to the maritime history of the region,” Moseley said. “This hands-on program will help us offer visitors an even deeper understanding of history and its importance.”
The Deep Dive series will continue monthly with the exception of February and December.