# DIRECTION

## (The Meaning of North, South, East and West - and How to Find Them)

 "Imagine that you are in a sailboat. You are faced with the problem of crossing the three thousand miles of open ocean that separate New York and London. You are told that the direction (in nautical terms, 'bearing') you want to go in to get to London is roughly northeast. But you have no instruments of any kind to help you! Once you leave visible landmarks near the shore, everything from horizon to horizon is just water, all of which looks pretty much the same! How are you going to find your way?!"
 "A good question! But first of all, what does northeast mean?"
 "Well, Lou, the earth rotates about an imaginary line called its AXIS. The two points on the earth's surface where the axis emerges are called the 'NORTH POLE' and the 'SOUTH POLE.' Any line pointing along the Earth's surface towards the North Pole is said to be pointing 'north.' Any line pointing along the Earth's surface towards the South Pole is said to be pointing 'south.' 'East' is at right angles to north in a clockwise direction; 'west' is at right angles to north in a counterclockwise direction. 'Northeast' is the direction halfway between north and east!"
 "I got it! But be practical, Lulu. There you are in the middle of the ocean. Nothing to see but water in every direction. How do you know which way is north? Or any other direction!?"
 "What do you think you could see that would always be in the same direction?"