Douglas Arvidson, Author of the Eye of the Stallion Series.


Ancient Skill, Dying Art: The Secrets of the Ancient Pacific Navigators


Lecture with PowerPoint Presentation

Audience: This topic can be adapted for various audiences and has appeal to:

  • Yacht Clubs, Sailing Programs, Orienteering Groups
  • Science and History Audiences
  • Boy Scouts, Science-Related High School Clubs and Groups
  • Colleges
  • High School Classes Such As History, Social Studies and Science


International award-winning short story writer and novelist Doug Arvidson spent twenty-eight years overseas, teaching and writing, including stints in the Republic of China, Iceland, Germany, and finally, on the island of Guam.

It was here, on this small tropical paradise, that he lived on a sailboat for ten years, sailing throughout the Mariana Islands and studying the secrets of the ancient Pacific seafarers under a master navigator from the atoll of Polowat.

Through a dynamic PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Arvidson reveals those secrets and considers the implications of losing this profound connection to the natural world as humankind advances into the digital age.

These are just a few of the interesting questions that audiences have asked while participating in this fascinating lecture/discussion:

  • Where did the indigenous peoples of the Pacific islands come from?
  • What do they make their canoes out of?
  • The canoes look pretty fragile. How do they make them seaworthy?
  • How do they know which star is above which island? How did they figure it out in the first place?
  • How does a navigator sleep?
  • What do they eat on long voyages?
  • Can a woman be a navigator?
  • Why did they have to memorize everything?
  • With modern methods of navigation available, why do some navigators still use traditional methods?

Also of interest, Arvidson's novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, is based upon these ancient secrets. Set among the islands of the western Pacific during World War II, the book follows two boys of different races and from different cultures as they struggle to accept each other and to master the ancient navigational skills in order to survive.

Signed copies of his novel will be available for purchase. You can find an in-depth look at the development of the book, the first novel written about the ancient art of navigating without instruments, by going to

Adapting the Presentation for Your Audience

Douglas Arvidson will adapt his dynamic PowerPoint presentation on "The Secrets of the Ancient Pacific Island Navigators" to a variety of audiences. With thirty-two years’ experience as an educator and lecturer, he has successfully modified his program to appeal to both young and old, professionals and non-professionals.

Yacht clubs and sailing programs will appreciate his experiences as a world-wide sailor while high school and middle school science, history, and social studies students will connect with his years of traveling and teaching around the world.

As a published short story writer and novelist, he especially enjoys meeting students in writing programs and as a former Scout and Scoutmaster, he feels this presentation about using stars and natural phenomena to navigate is in keeping with the best traditions of the Scouting program.




Brothers of the Fire Star

Brothers of the Fire Star by Dougls Arvidson.This is a novel of war and adventure; courage and tragedy. When the Japanese invade the island of Guam in December 1941, two boys, Joseph and Napu, escape by sailing away at night in a small boat.

Can they learn to trust each other? Their desperate survival depends on it.    Read more...

The Face in Amber

Enjoy this complex adventure following the coming-of-age of a defiant young woman as she discovers and learns to trust the strengths within herself.

When Sonoria learns that she and the people of the Stratus Valley are mere slaves to distant masters, she rebels. Joining a band of young barbarians, she escapes by riding out of the Valley on her wild stallion Spiritus. But her denial of her eternal love for the dark and dangerous Dag-gar threatens to tear apart the very fabric of Time. Read more...

More books > > >


Budding Writers
Douglas Arvidson is passionate about helping budding writers learn the craft. He has prepared a program on writing designed for students. Learn More...

He is available to come to your school to talk to students about the writing process. More...

Ancient Skill, Dying Art: The Secrets of the Pacific Island Navigators In conjunction with the novel Brothers of the Fire Star Douglas Arvidson has developed a dynamic slide/Powerpoint presentation concerning the methods of navigation used by Pacific islanders for thousands of years. This presentation is appropriate for Scouting programs, yacht/sailing clubs, outdoor enthusiasts, boat shows, colleges, and middle and high school science/social studies classes. To book, email:

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Blog - Personal blog about the writing life

Blog - dedicated to the novel Brothers of the Fire Star


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