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Old 21-02-2013, 08:57   #46
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Everything from emergency services to the military, from your local grocery delivery to the world package delivers, public transportion to world shipping are all using GPS. Not to mention, airlines, trains and thousands of others consumer delivery agencies.

Add to that, your theory of blackout and loss of computers... The would have significant delivery problems with food, oil and just about every other consumer product you can imagine.

If you don't think that would cause the world to become unstable, I guess we disgree.
Not withstanding the above major implications.... BUT... Could you just imagine the hundreds of million drivers that have become so dependent on their auto-nav screens that the just sit here idling... holding the wheel at 10 and 2... with the blank stare on their face wondering how in the world they are going to get where they want to go.... PRICELESS...
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Old 21-02-2013, 10:06   #47
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

Recently, a Belgian woman was trying to get to a small town about 100 kms fro her house in Brussels. She turned on her Garmin and followed the instructions, ending up 1300 kilometers away in Croatia in a small town there with the same name.

When asked if she didn't think driving 1300 kilometer to get to a town 100 kms away should have made her suspecious and rethought the thrip, her reply was she just followed the garmin lady's instructions.

No reason for celestial navigation or paper charts?

Maybe she should get an honorary Darwin award.....
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Old 21-02-2013, 10:52   #48
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Anyone else here who's "quirky" own "Latitude Hooks and Azimuth Rings:How to Build and Use 18 Traditional Navigation Tools"? I love it. Forget the sextant, octant, or back staff, it's all about the Kamal. Super cool!
Ah, equipment failures, Armageddon or not. I am all for simple, reliable (low tech) navigation. Any more literature suggestions on really using them for ocean and/or coastal passages?

Thanks to all for your suggestion and concerns. this year-old conversation totally revived!
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Old 21-02-2013, 15:35   #49
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

Hello all,
I'm an old salt sextant sailor - over 100,000 NM swinging my bronze Tamaya. It's a form of art that takes practice.
But for those that want a whiz-bang backup system, go to our website and download the java almanac and worksheets. They work offline. I did not make them. A more clever fellow than I, and they work correctly. You can add a "thanks" if you like.
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Old 21-02-2013, 18:52   #50
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

For all those interested, here is a great (free) PDF file with start to finish, how to Celestial Navigate. I actually laser printed it out and put each page in a plastic cover, then a binder.
http://mysite.verizon.net/milkyway99...tionTeacup.pdf

To touch on the likelihood of the GPS satellite system ever going down...I use to scoff at the idea. But lately in the news is a lot of talk about cyber warfare from China and others. They have hacked repeatedly into our Governments data-base as well as trade secrets from High-Tech companies. So who knows.
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:45   #51
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

The argument over electronic versus chart/celestial is a trivial one.

The fact is the military and many industries use GPS, so it quite robust. Having a hand held and main chart plotter usually suffices. You will notice on all these devices the disclaimer that says you can not use this for primary navigation.

That said I have recently got my captains license and do lots of deliveries. I am going to learn and practice celestial just so I have it. The charts are always a difficult one. You can download the pdf's, and once I get my celestial down I will at least bring a large chart of the area of my delivery.
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:46   #52
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

By any chance can you repost this, let me know if you need a web location and I can provide one for you on my server.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
For all those interested, here is a great (free) PDF file with start to finish, how to Celestial Navigate. I actually laser printed it out and put each page in a plastic cover, then a binder.
http://mysite.verizon.net/milkyway99...tionTeacup.pdf

To touch on the likelihood of the GPS satellite system ever going down...I use to scoff at the idea. But lately in the news is a lot of talk about cyber warfare from China and others. They have hacked repeatedly into our Governments data-base as well as trade secrets from High-Tech companies. So who knows.
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Old 14-10-2015, 07:50   #53
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

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Originally Posted by mackconsult View Post
By any chance can you repost [CelestialNavigationTeacup.pdf], let me know if you need a web location and I can provide one for you on my server.
I googled "CelestialNavigationTeacup.pdf" and the first link was the download.

That's something you can't do with a sextant.
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Old 14-10-2015, 10:33   #54
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

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The argument over electronic versus chart/celestial is a trivial one.

The fact is the military and many industries use GPS, so it quite robust. Having a hand held and main chart plotter usually suffices.

To some people it is not a trivial issue.

Also, robust is not the same as bullet proof.

Actually there are no truly bullet proof systems, but there are systems that have different weaknesses than GPS which makes them a good secondary or tertiary backup.


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Old 14-10-2015, 10:38   #55
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

Nothing will ever be bullet proof in our neck of the woods. Even in NASA and the military, FAA, and automotive standards they try there hardest to make thinks bullet proof. And we see failures all the time.

So your point would be .......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
To some people it is not a trivial issue.

Also, robust is not the same as bullet proof.

Actually there are no truly bullet proof systems, but there are systems that have different weaknesses than GPS which makes them a good secondary or tertiary backup.


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Old 03-11-2015, 14:14   #56
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

Some people need to look up the solar storm of 1859, also known as the Carrington event.

"If a storm that severe occurred today, it could cause up to $2 trillion in initial damages by crippling communications on Earth and fueling chaos among residents and even governments in a scenario that would require four to 10 years for recovery, according to a report earlier this year by the National Academy of Sciences. For comparison, hurricane Katrina inflicted somewhere between $80 billion and $125 billion in damage."

I remember reading that as well as causing havoc with telegraph systems worldwide, ships compasses were also affected.

I must admit I am one of those people that quite likes getting 'lost' on land. I do carry a GPS on my motorbike, and don't carry road maps (one of the things I used to do was long distance stuff in lorries, before GPS came in, so used plenty of maps then, until things got to the point that I was pretty much using my own internal auto-pilot). Had the thing conk out close to the Ukraine border in NE Hungary, and it was no sweat getting back to Calais, just using the Sun to navigate. Early in the morning I made sure the sun was behind me, middle of the day that it was to my left, and from the afternoon until sunset, that it was in front of me. It was more reliable than the blasted road signs, that's for sure (especially trying to get out of Brussels, the signposts sucked, but as soon as I returned to using the Sun, back on the Calais road I was travelling).

The most warning we will have of an incoming CME, will be about 15 minutes. If you don't have a steel biscuit tin with a spare compass, accurate watch, and maybe a handheld GPS to check things - and an old RDF perhaps . . . - and/or phone also with GPS, already closed and sealed, then the odds of getting stuff in one in time, aren't good.

But with care, staying calm (and manage a damned big grin if you can - Oh! An ADVENTURE! How EXCITING! - to reassure everyone else that may be spinning around with their hair on fire) and being prepared to use your brain sensibly, you should manage to get somewhere safe even without that stuff.

I have found that while getting lost can possibly cause you to end up in horrible circumstances (but it hasn't particularly happened to me yet, though Liege was seriously annoying, I did meet an absolutely wonderful girl there, and offered to help her escape - she almost accepted my offer too), most do seem to be quite delightful.

Though as ancient Greeks had sophisticated navigation computers, I do acknowledge their usefulness.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:38   #57
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

Good on you! Anyday somebody learns something new is a good day.
Feel sorry for those people who don't see any point in learning even if it's just for the sake of learning. The world must be a small miserable place if you really THINK you already know everything you need to know!
Hell I spent a winter learning about tubes so I could build my own tube guitar amp, talk about a near pointless thing to learn in todays day and age! Turns out people with vintage amps need them repaired.....and will pay for the service!
The only useless knowlege is the knowlege you don't have.
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Old 05-11-2015, 17:06   #58
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

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Originally Posted by mackconsult View Post
Nothing will ever be bullet proof in our neck of the woods. Even in NASA and the military, FAA, and automotive standards they try there hardest to make thinks bullet proof. And we see failures all the time.

So your point would be .......
My point was that saying the military relies completely on GPS does not make it a bulletproof system which is what you seemed to be implying.

And news that the Naval Academy is reinstating celestial training shows that even they have realized that it is not as trivial a risk as you think.

Pity they didn't realize that 3 years ago when the LORAN funding was discontinued.
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Old 28-11-2015, 05:59   #59
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

"US Navy renews training in celestial navigation over GPS hack fears"

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/201...ps-hack-fears/

"We often talk about the importance of file backups, for some pretty good reasons: hard drives can be damaged or lost, files can be corrupted or scrambled beyond repair by ransomware, and even Google’s data stores aren’t invulnerable to natural disasters.

It’s not just your files that need to be backed up – generally, it’s a bad idea to rely on any system with a single point of failure.

Apparently, the US Navy has come to the same realization regarding navigation of ships, which depends on the availability of the Global Positioning System (GPS), operated by the US Air Force.

This year, the US Naval Academy has decided to reinstate instruction in celestial navigation, teaching a course on navigating by the stars for the first time in 10 years, according to a newspaper report from Annapolis, Maryland, home of the academy.

Midshipmen set to graduate in the class of 2016 received just three hours of instruction in this venerable navigation technique – not enough time to become expert in using a sextant – but the Naval Academy class of 2017 will be required to learn theories of celestial navigation in an advanced navigation course.

Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Rogers of the Naval Academy’s Department of Seamanship and Navigation explained the decision to resume teaching celestial navigation this way:


We went away from celestial navigation because computers are great. The problem is, there's no backup.

Rogers went on to say that it’s possible the US’s GPS system, which relies on 31 satellites to give location coordinates accurate up to within a few feet, could be shut down in a national emergency to prevent enemies from using it.

There’s also the possibility of enemies taking out the GPS satellites, a scenario the Pentagon has been war gaming, and the threat of “cyber vulnerabilities,” Rogers said.

Even without attacking the GPS system directly, an enemy could potentially turn GPS navigation against the Navy, by spoofing GPS signals.

In 2013, a team of researchers from the University of Texas demonstrated how attackers could send counterfeit GPS signals and take over a ship’s navigation system."

{more at the link}
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:15   #60
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Re: Online Celestial Navigation Course

The story a few posts back about a woman blindly following her GPS 1300kms away from where she wanted to go simply because there was another another country with a city of the same name is a classic. And it doesn't just happen to little old ladies in cars.

All natural and or man made disasters aside, IMHO the common chartplotter has all but eliminated any remaining situational awareness from many sailors. I have watched a boat ground itself on a beautiful clear day where the water turned from bark blue to turquoise simply because the Captain blindly believed what the chartplotter was telling him, completely ignoring all signs of an impending grounding.

The latest casualty to this was Team Vestas in the Volvo Ocean Race. A crew of professional sailors ran a multi million dollar racing yacht up on to a reef at full speed in the Indian Ocean simply because they had their chartplotter display zoomed out too far to see the reef. Not knocking them, obviously they are experienced but they fell victim to the classic trap. They wont be the last.

At least with Celestial, usually if you make a mistake, it becomes quite obvious. But perhaps more importantly, it forces you to have good DR skills and the discipline to keep an accurate log. All of this contributes to good situational awareness. Cudos to anyone who sees Celestial or any other navigational skill as a resource and not just being content to blindly follow a box. Oh and when that box does fail, at least you will know where you are, have a record of where you have been and have a good idea of where you are going.
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