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Old 27-09-2016, 19:35   #151
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

So I wonder how they teach navigation here...

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Old 27-09-2016, 20:30   #152
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

I had the privilege of teaching blind students basic sailing in Vancouver in the 80s....(I think I actually learned more from them)

Their technique was to centre themselves at the helm and feel, hear, smell, changes as they steered and tacked.....After about the 2nd day out, they were really consistent and confident.

Navigation was purely theoretical and the concepts of vectors and angles came really easy as did the associated math.

Obviously observation was the challenge for lookout and docking, so we just stayed within the realm of assisted sailing and confidence building.
It was a great experience.
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Old 28-09-2016, 08:35   #153
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by Siberianhusky View Post
Was just watching a tv show featuring the USS New York on excercises, their " enemy target" started blocking/jamming (or something) gps, all units on the ship went down, the crew instantly went to paper charts and traditional navigation.
Show is called Mighty Ships.
Intersting that they would show that on TV, made me wonder how "easy" it could be.
I try not to tick off opposing navies so they don't jam my gps.

The reality is for any reasonable assumptions, GPS is reliable enough.

One issue people are confusing is celestial navigation is one tool but a tool that is largely out dated. If the GPS goes down, you typically have plenty of time to figure things out.

Coastal and dead reckoning are different tools that do retain usefulness. If you are within spiting distance of a shoal and the GPS goes out, understanding where you are is very important. Even if you have a spare, it may take a few minutes to find it and by then you could be aground.
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Old 28-09-2016, 09:31   #154
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote: "I had the privilege of teaching blind students basic sailing in Vancouver in the 80‘s....(I think I actually learned more from them)

Their technique was to centre themselves at the helm and feel, hear, smell, changes as they steered and tacked.....After about the 2nd day out, they were really consistent and confident."

Exactly! Visual input is only a small part of generating situational awareness.

We have a foundation in Vancouver - started by a paraplegic who was once our mayor - that teaches the handicapped to sail in custom designed little dinghies. I have seen QUADRAPLEGICS sail them. All by controlling little pressure sensing switches that control motors to do this and that. The sailor puffs or sucks on little tubes mounted in front of him.

TrentePieds came to us from that foundation. She had been donated to it as a fundraising measure. I was happy to see the purchase money go to such a cause, and I think - occasionally - that she may, in the end, "go home" as my visual impairment progresses.

But there is blindness and there is blindness. At one time, prior to an operation I knew was coming, I trained myself to "live in perpetual darkness". Not so difficult. Mainly a mindset. I doubt that I will ever be THAT blind, and it'll be a frosty Friday before I can't do pilotage and boathandling, though my friends laugh and tell me that I park my car "by ear" ;-)

Not as bad as all that, but I'll give up my driver's licence (as a gesture of responsible citizenship) before I give up sailing!

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Old 30-09-2016, 08:44   #155
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Who's lamenting.. absorbed some new.. coz I'm lazy.. but still live in the 'good ole days' in many other aspects..
Nuns still grow cucumbers ya know.. just given up the 'press-ups' in this electronic age..
Are nuns growing cucumbers for navigational purposes?
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:45   #156
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
This is a subject that bothered the U.S. Navy for years. 18 years ago the stopped teaching sextant navigation. Nothing like having warships that don't know where they are! If it makes sense to them, then it makes sense to me. I deliver boats and I use everything available to insure that I know where I am. The owners and their insurance companies also like the idea.
Capt Bob has it right... use every arrow in your quiver to tell yourself where you are. I, too, delivered boats for a living many years ago when GPS was the new thing and loran was on its way out (big mistake!).
I learned everything I know about modern electronics like plotters, AIS, GPS, etc from the young whippersnappers (is that even still a word?) who crewed for me.
They seemed to have an intuitive understanding of things electronic while me, the old duffer, would still be reading the manual! Phil
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Old 30-09-2016, 14:28   #157
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
So I wonder how they teach navigation here...

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Hmmm, maybe by smell.
Seriously tho, I'm legally blind, and while soloing I had a navigator to follow from Atlantic highlands to cape may a couple years ago. Went in at Manesquan at night in rollers , that tightened the grommet a bit, lol.
From Atlantic City we went outside as grounding was inevitable in the ditch. My Navs Islander with yanmar and outboard couldn't keep up with my jib and motor. I got ahead of him and kept a schooner in sight ahead of me that I knew was headed to cape may also. Weather wasn't the best as we beat down the coast and my buddy the Nav wasn't keeping radio contact and I lost sight of him . I discussed the fact with him previously that his radio was not accessible when at the helm but he refused to remedy that. It bit him that day. I think he also had some rudder issues which played a part which he denied but some loose talk divulged a possible rudder 180 off , wtf! Anyway I get to Cape and it's damn near dark for the blind man radioed to the schooner to flashed some lights to get into channel , on the way in fast boats with blue lights come flying out, oh no oh yeah! Coast would not answer our queries. Later they acknowledged that 'your fellow mariner is safe but that's all we can say'. So we hear scuttle but on other channels. A boat is submerged in Hereford inlet. Now that's an uncharted(no known depths) inlet. He went in there an hour from Cape May. What ? Said weather wasn't getting better, ok,,, He bottomed out in the rollers and drove the keel up thru the hull. Sunk in 5 mins and lost everything. Rescued by Seatow and Coastie helicopter.
I had a GarminOregon , you know with a thumbnail size screen haha.and Samsung Galaxy 3 tablet. But I also used paper charts and compass and pencil my course. To me that's still makes the most sense. Redundancy abounds?
Nav had tablet and computer .
The Schooner Eydis adopted me . They got me to Oriental where I spent Christmas and new years.
The blind issue problem I had was that in the ditch, I could not see the next marker board until I was half way to it and then still sometimes couldn't distinguish tween red and green...product of not totally successful retinal detach surgeries. You play the hand you are dealt right?
Now still have GarminOregon but tablet is iPhone air. Use active captain and noaa for nav now
Nav guy got another boat and got tired of going 5mph. Now rv guy and hiking and climbing 3mph haha and going 60 in between. Eydis wrecked in the mex gulf enroute to rio dulce, God bless them. They used computer navigation.
I had a guy t bone us while we were stuck in a tug prop wash hole in an inlet shoal , he wasn't blind , he fell asleep in his 46 foot trimaran while motoring. We woke him up just in time so he could watch himself nail us.
Back in the day in gab and Lake Michigan didn't have charts or electronics and only shoal end once in Green Bay on a sand bar with a wood hereschoff 20 with fixed 1000# cast iron keel. Always seemed to have props finding rocks with powerboats tho,lol.
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Old 30-09-2016, 17:33   #158
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I try not to tick off opposing navies so they don't jam my gps.

The reality is for any reasonable assumptions, GPS is reliable enough.

One issue people are confusing is celestial navigation is one tool but a tool that is largely out dated. If the GPS goes down, you typically have plenty of time to figure things out.

Coastal and dead reckoning are different tools that do retain usefulness. If you are within spiting distance of a shoal and the GPS goes out, understanding where you are is very important. Even if you have a spare, it may take a few minutes to find it and by then you could be aground.
If GPS went down because of jamming, a solar flare or whatever, its NOT ALSO likely that my electronic charts would be unavailable. My iPad is still going to work. My chartplotter will still work. Sure, the chart would not show my current position but it would still be available for reference, like a paper chart.

If we get struck by lightning then GPS is NOT ALSO likely to be out, so if we keep at least ONE operational GPS handy we should not have a problem, even without charts as long as we wrote down our waypoints. Most handheld GPS have compasses that work independently of GPS, so you would still be able to get where you needed to go. Its not particularly difficult to protect electronics in storage from electrical strikes. Heck, when we got struck it only took out one of over a dozen GPS and/or plotting tools I had available and NONE of those were protected in any way except being unplugged.

In addition, I could have taken the GPS antenna from the AIS that was destroyed and plugged it into our VHF (that was not damaged) which has position and plotting, since the antenna is just an antenna. This is not even pulling out my 11 backups systems for navigation.
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Old 30-09-2016, 17:58   #159
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I think you lose some awareness of your surrounding staring at the digital screen. Made a trip to eastern Oregon from WA this summer. Daughter riding with me. She navigated with her Iphone. I had good maps but was driving. I had my trip planned. Her phone said to exit the freeway just south of Portland instead of 50 miles further south per my plan to go east from the freeway. So we followed her phone. It took thru a nice residential neighborhood, around Lake Oswego, along a small country highway... and back to the freeway. All done per the phone's instructions! It was a 40 minute loss of time. But evidently was technically a shorter distance than the simple freeway to highway map route. So the Phone decided it was best! How many times have you followed a car GPS to find out it leads you to a dead end street that it thinks goes thru? :>)

Yup or google took you thru town instead of the quickest way, because they are paid to send you past those businesses that pay to route you past them. Google is not MY friend , contrary to their thinking .lol. Stop to pee and they reroute you.
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Old 30-09-2016, 18:06   #160
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
If GPS went down because of jamming, a solar flare or whatever, its NOT ALSO likely that my electronic charts would be unavailable. My iPad is still going to work. My chartplotter will still work. Sure, the chart would not show my current position but it would still be available for reference, like a paper chart.

If we get struck by lightning then GPS is NOT ALSO likely to be out, so if we keep at least ONE operational GPS handy we should not have a problem, even without charts as long as we wrote down our waypoints. Most handheld GPS have compasses that work independently of GPS, so you would still be able to get where you needed to go. Its not particularly difficult to protect electronics in storage from electrical strikes. Heck, when we got struck it only took out one of over a dozen GPS and/or plotting tools I had available and NONE of those were protected in any way except being unplugged.

In addition, I could have taken the GPS antenna from the AIS that was destroyed and plugged it into our VHF (that was not damaged) which has position and plotting, since the antenna is just an antenna. This is not even pulling out my 11 backups systems for navigation.
Hey Z I like your thinking!
Then we will have the all to present 'what if ' faction besting the bush with ,
What if this happens, or that happened.
I say ok what if nothing worked? The whippersnappers gonna go overboard and swim home? Are they that stupid?
Nahhh, if they smart n have a sailing vessel, they sail till they hit something or someone..... Now stinkpot will need rescue from real sailors haha or just go fishing...
May you live forever, and may I never die.
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Old 30-09-2016, 18:29   #161
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

So I wonder what happens when your sextant breaks or falls overboard. Or your charts burn up from being left near the stove. Maybe both are stolen by pirates in the Seychelles. Are these scenarios more or less likely than all the GPS satellites falling out of the sky? Are they more or less likely than all my GPS going out at the same time?
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:19   #162
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I try not to tick off opposing navies so they don't jam my gps.

The reality is for any reasonable assumptions, GPS is reliable enough.

One issue people are confusing is celestial navigation is one tool but a tool that is largely out dated. If the GPS goes down, you typically have plenty of time to figure things out.

Coastal and dead reckoning are different tools that do retain usefulness. If you are within spiting distance of a shoal and the GPS goes out, understanding where you are is very important. Even if you have a spare, it may take a few minutes to find it and by then you could be aground.
Not 100% sure where this lecture came from, I never said anything for or against any form of navigation or piloting, just related what I saw on tv about the us military using paper when an "enemy" jammed their gps. Was interesting that they were set up and ready to go "old school" in the event of jamming.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:11   #163
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Zboss, what happens when the military turn off the GPS as happened during the first Gulf War? What happens when/if you suffer total 12v system collapse? If you are struck by lightning mid-ocean? These have varying degree's of likelihood but if you have a sextant, charts, tables then you have a very real possibility of maintaining your known position. You have a totally independent alternative not reliant on power or external intelligent input. Sextants dont 'just' break any more than your arm 'just' breaks. Nor do they simply 'fall' overboard. We used to keep a plastic Davies sextant on board as a back up but gave that away years ago. I have never dropped my sextant - it would be like dropping a new born child for me. Mine lives in its original box which is also secured. Whilst there are no piracy issues in the Seychelles I do get your point - however, has anyone ever heard of a sextant being stolen by a pirate? Doubtful they would know what one is. I have heard of pirates stripping one catamarn of all its batteries, communications equipment and solar panels tho' (actually met the cat involved in Suez - they had quite a story to tell). In todays world, astro is relegated to the back of the cupboard but it should not be knocked nor should practioners be ridiculed. It is the ultimate alternative and reliable means of fixing your position and its incredible how many people do not appreciate this.
We shall continue to keep buying and using small scale charts on board and our sextant plus air tables and shall continue to drag them out once in a while (not frequently enough at present) to try and keep some semblance of practice. I am willing to bet that the detractors of having the necessary kit on board are those that simply do not have paper charts and most likely they do not know how to take and reduce a sight. Anne made a very good point about route planning (etc) and I really do not see viable alternatives there either. There have been several incidents recently that support having paper charts on board that it is surprising that so many people still cannot accept this.



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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
So I wonder what happens when your sextant breaks or falls overboard. Or your charts burn up from being left near the stove. Maybe both are stolen by pirates in the Seychelles. Are these scenarios more or less likely than all the GPS satellites falling out of the sky? Are they more or less likely than all my GPS going out at the same time?
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:17   #164
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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............ it is surprising that so many people still cannot accept this.
What is really surprising is the time and effort some people put into defending what is nothing more than an opinion while knowing (one would hope), that they will not actually change anyone's mind. There's a saying that "opinions are like a$$holes, everybody has one."

The fact that you cling to centuries old ways of doing things doesn't make you any better than the person who takes advantage of new technology except in your own mind.

The majority of people use new technology as it becomes available. Technology has improved our lives.

You are using the Internet to post. Do you still know how to communicate with smoke signals?
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:43   #165
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Hi Ron, There is nothing to defend when it comes to common sense and having a paper chart on board especially for off-shore passages or for passage planning or for keeping your passage plotted. Remember what is stated frequently when a new GPS is purchased about not being reliant upon it.
Alternative navigation would not necessarily apply for all coastal boating though. Its also not an opinion when something has occurred before - it then becomes a fact; an incident.
You are correct that some people wont change their minds but it is just as likely that others shall say.......'yup, that is valid'. Many of the forum postings are opinion related and that is part of the interest. Is "a cat better than a mono" is an opinion as each person has their own requirements and circumstances to satisfy.
I dont believe anyone is saying that having or using a sextant makes them a better person - but it does make them better equipped. I also use a chart plotter......and this was apparent from my postings.
Yes, technology can improve lives but it can also lead to complacency and a degree of arrogance amongst some.
How many boaters are totally dependent on their GPS even for coastal sailing, let alone going offshore? Granted that its a super reliable system but we are talking about alternatives in the case of failure. These alternatives exist, so why not have them onboard? Another analogy is why have insurance where its not mandated?
Yes, I do know how to use smoke as a distress signal.


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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
What is really surprising is the time and effort some people put into defending what is nothing more than an opinion while knowing (one would hope), that they will not actually change anyone's mind. There's a saying that "opinions are like a$$holes, everybody has one."

The fact that you cling to centuries old ways of doing things doesn't make you any better than the person who takes advantage of new technology except in your own mind.

The majority of people use new technology as it becomes available. Technology has improved our lives.

You are using the Internet to post. Do you still know how to communicate with smoke signals?
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