In preparation for our sail to Mexico several years ago, I took Spanish at City College. I should have also taken astronomy, so I could have more easily identified all the wonders in the night sky while on watch in the middle of the night. On Friday, March 23, the first clear day and night after several days of rain, the Squadron was given a mini-lesson in astronomy and telescopes by Tom Whittemore, professor of astronomy at Westmont College and fellow members of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, Chuck, Martin, and Tom at Westmont College’s Observatory. Four different telescopes were set up and we were able to view the moon, the Orion nebula, and many other stars and constellations and hear stories about all of them. One that stuck in my mind was the star Canopus which is in the constellation Carina, and represents the keel of a boat on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed. It is the second brightest star in the sky after Sirius, but isn’t always easy to see because it doesn’t rise very high above the horizon in the southern sky. The Astronomical Unit sets up all over Santa Barbara over 200 times each year. I’m sure you can find them at sbau.org and next time we have a Squadron night at the Observatory, we hope you’ll be able to come out. Even though it was a nippy night, although warmer than last year’s event, the enthusiasm and stories of these incredibly knowledgeable guides kept us warm…along with a little hot chocolate!