Voyage to Jamestown
Practical Navigation in the Age of Discovery
Voyage to Jamestown explores how sea navigation was accomplished during the era of discoveries. Readers discover navigational methods and tools within the setting of their use during a sea voyage of the period. This voyage, however, features a fictional crew and ship, carefully reconstructed from actual accounts and people. This approach aims to teach an adult audience about marine navigation within the cultural experience of people who actually travelled the oceans centuries ago. The strength of this approach lies in its reliance on primary sources: all events, circumstances, narratives, and navigational problems and their solutions come from primary accounts. The reader does not need any special background or knowledge to understand these navigational topics. The fictional voyage follows the merchant galleon Guyft from Bristol, England, to Virginia in North America in 1611, captained by Tristram Hame. Just as the voyage is a composite of many voyages of the era, Hame is a composite constructed from a study of his contemporaries. With this narrative technique, the reader can absorb seafaring and navigation as practiced in 1611 as if the reader were aboard the ship, observing Hame and his crew. The navigational tools and methods are presented as Hame would have practiced them. Navigational theory, methods, and instrumentation of the era are therefore discussed within economic, political, scientific, and religious contexts to learn how the early modern navigator experienced his world.