Celestial Navigation, Sextants, and a Ruined Anniversary

Not SEX. SEXtant.

It all makes sense,  I promise.

First of all, Princess Rosebud and her Tugboat Man have been married for twenty-one years, a really, REALLY long time.

Sometimes it seems like only yesterday, and at other times, it seems like a life sentence.

That’s 7,665 days, 183,960 hours, 11,037,600 minutes, and more than 662 million seconds, or, in my case ‘cos he’s gone about fifty percent of the time, we’ve only been married for about 10.5 years!

The traditional twenty-first anniversary gift is brass and that made it easy, ‘cos mariners are always shining brass, right?

 I found a small, working sextant so that no matter how far from home he might be, he can always navigate his way back to my heart.

heart constellation

What’s a sextant, you ask?

sextantA sextant is a weird looking thing — who invented this, anyway? –instrument with a graduated arc of 60° and a sighting mechanism, used for measuring the angular distances between objects and especially for taking altitudes in navigation, also known as Celestial Navigation.

In other words, blah, blah, blah, ‘cos I have absolutely no idea how to use it, but it’s shiny and has a couple of mirrors, so all is good.

My tugboat man’s a USCG certified instructor in Celestial Navigation.

If you want to know ANYTHING maritime-related, he’s your guy. Well, not really YOUR guy, he’s MY guy, but you get the picture…

Even in this age of GPS and radar, professional mariners need to fulfill a licensing requirement by exhibiting a certain level of proficiency in the use of a sextant.

Celestial navigation is the art and science of finding your way by the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and, in one form or another, is one of the oldest practices in human history.

A star to steer by…

The wheelhouse of hub’s vessels have a sextant on board and he uses it daily when he’s out in the open ocean. Mostly as a way to keep his knowledge fresh, but when I asked him why, he told me he does it because it’s entertaining and rewarding; a great mind game to stay sharp and focused.

Looks like a torture device to me.

sextant3During our twenty-one plus years, my tugboat man has been the one to make all the arrangements from our engagement to our tenth anniversary at the Archbishop’s Mansion in San Francisco — which was AMAZING and I’m talking about a spectacular dinner at John’s Grill, (one of the locations author Dashiell Hammett used in The Maltese Falcon), and when we returned from dinner, our room was filled with candles and stargazer lilies (guys, take notes) — this time I wanted to surprise him.

I had planned a romantic stay at the hotel where we spent our wedding night —  to recreate the whole scene with champagne and a great dinner at a little restaurant on the beach — but no one at the establishment responded to my two emails, two Facebook queries, and a telephone call to book a reservation.

I left a message with a nameless person who answered the phone; he promised someone would call me back and no one did.

Les Artistes Inn in Del Mar had recently opened in 1994 and the owners took pics of us in our wedding finery for their brochure — our wedding night was a lovely and magical time and now they ruined our special evening. RUINED IT!

I ended up making veg sushi and we drank with lots of sake. The next day we went for a walk and had a picnic where we were married at Magee Park in Carlsbad.

Nice, but not the same.

The best part of it all is that hub was HERE, ‘cos he’s leaving for six weeks in just a few days. For that I’m grateful, but I didn’t get the opportunity for my grand gesture, and since he’s the MOST WONDERFUL HUSBAND in the world, I’m sad.

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8 thoughts on “Celestial Navigation, Sextants, and a Ruined Anniversary

  1. @”What’s a sextant, you ask?” – nope, I’m not gonna ask for I do know what it is… 🙂
    * * *
    Happy Anniversary, health, joy and long life together, young lady! 🙂 Btw, in 2000 while still living in Houston, TX we celebrated our 20th one in Oahu & Big Island, and our 35th one in Maui & Kauai until last week… 🙂
    * * *
    P.S. I know where you live – lucky you!… 😉 Laird Hamilton comes to France several times/year: he loves our Atlantic Coast by the “Basque Country” @ Biarritz… 🙂
    https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/locked-hearts-above-the-atlantic-wholl-open-em/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! You called me “young lady” and thank you for that! I’ve never been to France but always wanted to go…my mom was there, my aunt went to the Sorbonne and was fluent in French, I have a small working knowledge-could probably find my way to Chanel haha, and my son has been there, oh and my hub too, so it’s somewhere on my list of places to visit and hike all over. Lucky you to travel to beautiful Hawaii! Funny, hub was in Houston last week for some survival training prepping for his arctic assignment. I love your comments and thank you so much for reading!

      Like

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