The phrase ‘dead reckoning’ invokes a sense of doom while one awaits a horrible fate. In fact, the phrase refers to a navigational technique used by explorers while voyaging. Dead reckoning allows us to remember where we have been, and then to decide where to go. It’s how European explorers first charted their way through the treacherous waters of Northern Canada in search of a safe trade route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: the infamous Northwest Passage.