The feeling beneath your feet

18 November 2016

Interview with

Captain James Taylor, Royal Institute of Navigation

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Navigation is at the heart of trade, travel, leisure, sport - from our commute to work, to holidays abroad, to setting our eyes on space - we need to know where we are to be able to get there. And Glasgow has just hosted the annual International Navigation Conference to showcase the science that gets us from here to there. For the president of the Royal Institute of Navigation, Captain James Taylor, the subject is very close to his heart, as captain of a nuclear submarine at the height of the Cold War.

James - When you are fully submerged, you are much more conscious of the fact of moving in three dimensions in a huge space. Whereas man is, by and large, a two plane animal, and submarining is true navigating because you are moving in three dimensions. But you become entirely accustomed to the fact that your visual range is limited to a matter of feet, and that you are reliant on your instrumentation, and the feel you get through the soles of of you feet to tell you what the weather is like, the sea conditions and, over the years, you build up an almost instinctive feeling for what the weather might be.

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