For at least a thousand years, humans have made their way across the sea by the stars. Celestial navigation is the ancient art and science used by all-time navigators to know their position by observing the sky. It uses sights, angular measurements taken between the horizon line and a celestial body: by studying the sun, the moon, and the stars, navigators have been able to define exactly their position in any given point of the Earth’s surface.
I decided to switch off all GPS electronic devices. When you rely just on technology, you need to go down to the deck and know your position by reading data on a screen. With celestial navigation, you need to actually step on the deck and look at your surroundings, understanding the workings of the stars. Knowing exactly what is happening all around you.
Sailing by the stars is a way to reconnect to the consciousness of the rhythm of cosmos and the passage of time.
To reach these inhabited islands, I have to interpret the celestial ceiling as a map that leads me. It can take quite a while: you can go wrong with your calculations and find yourself not able to determine your position for almost an hour. On cloudy days it can be impossible for a navigator to know his position, and in blurry dark nights the only chance is to wait for the first crepuscular rays to illuminate the horizon again. And that moment when you spot land after days in the middle of the blue, oh! That is when you breath a sigh of relief, you know that your calculations were right.
When you are a flea in the ocean, the necessity to think of you as part of something bigger pervades you.
The life I was called to live was reconciling me with the environment which I always cared about, but haven’t had the chance to really understand. We never see nature. We spend days, and weeks, and months without seeing the natural world, without remembering how the world has always been. Now I know that you can’t protect something without feeling it. You need to love it, otherwise you can’t find the forces to act for defending and preserving it. I look at our planet Earth and I’m really concerned about the future of our environment. There is no way back if we don’t start loving it.
If you’re not connected to the planet, you can’t protect it.
Pictures. Dani Pujalte
Words. Vincenzo Angileri
Artwork. Ángela Palacios
“The man who sails with the stars”
Presented by. NOWNESS and Eldorado
Produced by. Malditos
A film by. Antonina Obrador
DOP. Andreu Vidal, Antonina Obrador
Editor. Martí Blanché
Sound design & mix. Dani Trujillo
Additional sound design. Roc Montoriol
Color grader. Alvaro Robles