Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jan 25 is the Russian Maritime Navigators' Day

Jan 25 is the Russian Maritime Navigators' Day
Russian Maritime Navigation Service turned 310. 

Previously, the Navigators' Day used to be celebrated in spring equinox (March 21) and autumn equinox (Sept 23), because in those days one can definitely find cardinal directions without instruments – at any station point, the Sun rises sharply in the east and sets in the west. 

But since 1997 in accordance with Navy Commander-in-Chief's decree No. 253 dated July 15, 1996 about new annual holidays and professional days, the Naval Navigators' Day has been celebrated on Jan 25, in the date when Russian Maritime Navigation Service was established.

The need to train native shipmasters and navigators arose with the beginning of construction of Russian fleet. That idea was realized by establishment of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences School in Sukharevaya Tower, Moscow. The decree issued on Jan 25, 1701 by Peter the Great said: "Mathematical and navigational sciences and arts must be studied". That day is considered the birthday of Russian Maritime Navigation Service. 
Many known naval commanders started career from position of ship's navigator. Among them were admirals who laid a foundation of contemporary Russian Navy, such as S. Gorshkov, V. Mikhailin, A. Mikhailovsky, and many others. In the Age of Discovery names of navigators ranked in importance with shipmasters and admirals. Only in Russia's Primorsky Krai famous navigators were memorized in names of 64 capes, 12 islands, 3 peninsulas, and 9 bays. 

It is believed that profession of ship (flagship) navigator is extremely hard and responsible; as is written in Rules of Navigation Service in Russian Navy, "navigator's work at sea has a creative nature". By the way, not only naval navigators celebrate their high day on Jan 25 but civilian as well.
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