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Old 08-08-2013, 06:59   #16
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Re: GPS as the sole means of navigation.

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Originally Posted by beverley View Post
What was the bridge crew doing? Was anybody looking were they were going? Did the depth gauge not show the depth shallowing out? There was a lighthouse on the reef, so surely there was other buoyage as well?

I might reprimand the map-maker, but I would certainly beach the bridge crew.

[edit: I just noticed the link above the picture - apparently lookouts saw the lighthouse and the crew ignored their reports.]

I think the bridge team were busy believing the electronics.
Anyway, the senior officers and navigator of the Guardian have been relieved of duty, and most likely face a court martial
Far as I know, there is only the one light on the reef, no buoyage, way to deep for buoys unless you moor them on the reef and thats probably not allowed. In any case, lights, beacons and buoys in the Philippines are not the most reliable.
Remarkably, a chinese fishing boat grounded on the reef a few days after the last bit of the Guardian was removed. Perhaps they should have left the hulk there as a stark reminder to others.
Echo sounder would have have given a very short warning that they were approaching the reef, it shoals very quickly.
What beggers believe is that they appear to have ignored the light beacon, and most likely the radar display. If a light, or unexpected radar target pops up in that situation, the boat should have been brought to a stop to allow a proper assessment to be made.

Looks like electronics are the way forward though. UK is pushing hard for eLoran to be commissioned as soon as possible on the south and east coast, as a back up to GPS. Although I thought that radar, lights, buoys etc were the back up. My guess is that once eLoran is up and running, our caring government will be looking to decomission lights and buoyage, or at the very least, to palm it off to the private sector.
They have savagely cut the Coastguard Service, and will shortly be putting an end to the RAF role in Search and Rescue, so much for progress
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:07   #17
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

What I find amazing is that a warship would not investigate a radar contact in enough detail to discover if it was a light structure it was well out of position.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:23   #18
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Re: GPS as the sole means of navigation.

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Likely reason was either that someone changed the scale of the chart on the Chartplotter (where is here & japan?!) so the reef "disappeared" or that different people were using the Chartplotter (some people just can't stop fiddling with buttons) which means that no one had an easy visual way of spotting when something was odd or different (with a quick glance) - because the chart was always different (in size, orientation - or screen, oh look it has how many inches it is to the North pole!).

Your sort of right David, below is a snip from the findings of the grounding

f. Add FoF 596. During voyage planning, the CO was aware
that the planned navigation track, when displayed on DNc®
GEN11A, went over the top of Tubbataha Reef. [Encls {9), (11),
(123)]
g. Add FoF 597. The CO was aware that the planned
navigation track when displayed on ONe® COA11D was at least four
nautical miles from the land features of Tubbataha Reef: South
Islet, North Islet, and was 3.5 nautical miles from Jessie
Beazley Island. [Encls (9), (10), (11), {19}, (20), (123)]

Add FoF 598. The co was aware that DNC® GEN11A and DNC®
COA11D did not display the land features of Tubbataha Reef:
South Islet, North Islet, and Jessie Beazley Island in the same
geographic position. [Encls (9) , (10) , (11) , (123)]
i. Add FoF 599. The CO made a determination to rely on
DNc® COA11D based on his supposition that "it is 'well known'
that general charts are inaccurate." [Encls (9}, (10), (11},
(123)]
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:28   #19
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

I don't think they displayed a high level of competence. This from the official report:

"Had USS GUARDIAN not ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef, the imprudent, unsafe, and unsound CO-approved Navigation Plan would have placed the ship directly over another navigation hazard with unknown depth at latitude 05 degrees 34.932 minutes North, longitude 119 degrees 32.835 minutes East as the ship passed in vicinity of Pearl Bank in the southern Sulu Sea approaching the Sibutu Passage."

Amazing
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:54   #20
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

This guy has lots of company, if you took away the GPS probably 95% of the current sailors would not be able to do an offshore passage with their current knowledge.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:01   #21
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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This guy has lots of company, if you took away the GPS probably 95% of the current sailors would not be able to do an offshore passage with their current knowledge.
That is a interesting stat there Robert. Do you have any evidence of that or was it hyperbole? I would be interested in how many sailors could sail out of sight of land safely without electricity. I think they would be a larger crowd than you believe. I feel that I could.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:12   #22
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

The lighthouse

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Old 08-08-2013, 10:29   #23
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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That is a interesting stat there Robert. Do you have any evidence of that or was it hyperbole? I would be interested in how many sailors could sail out of sight of land safely without electricity. I think they would be a larger crowd than you believe. I feel that I could.
Put it another way:

How many people could depart on a multi day offshore passage with an active sea state and current, and make a landfall they intended within 10 miles, sans GPS.

I think that number is quite small. It requires knowledge and accuracy of multiple navigation techniques depending upon cloud cover and tools onboard.

Walk through a marina and ask people to do a set and drift calculation, right there on the spot. Even just ask them what values they need to perform the calculation.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:46   #24
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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Put it another way:

How many people could depart on a multi day offshore passage with an active sea state and current, and make a landfall they intended within 10 miles, sans GPS.

I think that number is quite small. It requires knowledge and accuracy of multiple navigation techniques depending upon cloud cover and tools onboard.

Walk through a marina and ask people to do a set and drift calculation, right there on the spot. Even just ask them what values they need to perform the calculation.
If you asked me on the spot what my date of birth is I would likely struggle!, let alone any calculations .

I would not say I was the world's greatest navigator (just a very cautious one), but directly to (i.e. from straight over the horizon) then probably not (too often!)..........but in ye olden days (pre GPS) never had a problem finding a bit of coast, even if not the bit intended!.........just need to know what yer need to avoid on all potential bits of coast..........and know whether to turn left or right .

That be the reason why even "real" navigators use GPS . .........the price of that is less joy (and relief!) at a landfall, or at least sighting stuff which confirms position.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:50   #25
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
This guy has lots of company, if you took away the GPS probably 95% of the current sailors would not be able to do an offshore passage with their current knowledge.
If you took matches away from campers...99.9% couldn't make a campfire...what's your point? I'm pretty proficient at navigating although I haven't done celestial in quite a few years and do use GPS...doesn't make me a bad person...considering the GPS works more days out of the year for landfalls than the clouds cooperate.

Besides...define offshore passage...etc..etc. and define current sailors and their experience levels....

If you said boaters...I might agree...but I'll bet a much lower percentage of those that post and read here (there than the obvious ones) could do an offshore passage without GPS and survive just fine...hit the sea buoy? no...but make a safe landfall and survive to sail another day.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:13   #26
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

I could do with more boating experience but I prefer to sit down with a chart and plan my passage using that. I do not mind using the electronic map as a cross check when underway but I always prefer having my chart to hand.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:22   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart

Put it another way:

How many people could depart on a multi day offshore passage with an active sea state and current, and make a landfall they intended within 10 miles, sans GPS.

I think that number is quite small. It requires knowledge and accuracy of multiple navigation techniques depending upon cloud cover and tools onboard.

Walk through a marina and ask people to do a set and drift calculation, right there on the spot. Even just ask them what values they need to perform the calculation.
Out of sight if land is relatively easy. There are only two major techniques, not "multiple" - celestial and DR, of which proper DR (including set and drift calcs) is by far the most important and celestial is optional, becoming really useful not on multi day passages, but on multi week passages. You don't need a chart plotter at all far offshore; most sailors switch them off and just turn on a GPS a couple times a day.

Out of sight of land on a multi day passage with or without electronics is relatively easy because the goal is modest - don't hit anything, and make a reasonable landfall. A "reasonable landfall" might be plus or minus 50 miles in some cases - that's the way mariners of old did it.

Much more complicated without electronics is navigation and pilotage close to shore where you need to know where you are continuously, and not just once a day. This is what requires real skill - reading lights and bells, three point fixes, set and drift in real time. Even real masters of the art occasionally screwed up and put their vessels on the rocks, hence the huge margins of error, standing well off, etc., which traditional mariners used. GPS is the killer app for this, enormously increasing safety by giving you access to instant and precise position data regardless of visibility. Chart plotter is another great leap forward. I keep multiple backups, myself.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:24   #28
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Put it another way:

How many people could depart on a multi day offshore passage with an active sea state and current, and make a landfall they intended within 10 miles, sans GPS.

I think that number is quite small. It requires knowledge and accuracy of multiple navigation techniques depending upon cloud cover and tools onboard.

Walk through a marina and ask people to do a set and drift calculation, right there on the spot. Even just ask them what values they need to perform the calculation.
When going somewhere new? You are probably right. But I don't think we have any thing over ancient mariners, and most of them managed to get around. (Although not on a schedule) The question was navigation, not hitting a bullseye. We'll leave that to you and Capt. Bligh (who is the navigator I always look up to)
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:59   #29
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

Occasionally Nancie and I find ourselves using more of our navigation tools, but one of the great advantages of the GPS is time saving speed. When we are negotiating passages among the rocks in Maine's fog among other vessels, I need to spend much of my time at the radar screen communicating to Nancie at the helm. I can prepare ahead of time with a plan using paper charts. I can look ahead at expected set and drift, but during the trip in poor visbility all my time is devoted to the radar and the VHF. Without the GPS I would be at much greater risk because I would need to spend more time away from the radar and the VHF. Of course as others, like Dockhead have said, long distance offshore doesn't have this time stress.
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Old 08-08-2013, 13:43   #30
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Re: GPS as the Sole Means of Navigation.

I have done something with my current boat that I really like. I have put all my navigation electronics in a water proof box easily readable at the helm. My current one has my chartplotter, vhf,radar and ais in the doghouse bulkhead. Just open the door and turn on to use. Close the box when leaving the boat or anchoring for the night. Since it is a good 4 feet from the wheel it doesn't seem to affect the compass.
This way I do all my navigation and communication from the cockpit.
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