It is commonplace nowadays to assume that modern technology is rendering inevitable the demise of the traditional navigator—in the commercial shipping world at least—and there is much discussion of what this can signify for the future. Yet at the same time there is no little confusion over what is meant, and will be meant, by the term ‘Navigator’. In the context of the Merchant Navy the truism can be made that all deck officers are navigators, and indeed that navigation has been a prime source of satisfaction to many of them; but very few are or ever have been lifetime navigators to the exclusion of all else. Certainly there are the small bands of hydrographers and specific navigators engaged in such fields as offshore work needing a high degree of accuracy, whose prime job in life this is. But they are a select and specialised group whose existence does not negate the view that for the majority of deck officers their navigation is at best part of a wider whole. So to talk of the demise of the navigator is misleading; no deck officers on merchant ships will be out of a job simply because navigation becomes less important. What they will lose is a most interesting part of their work.