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Old 06-03-2010, 10:29   #211
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IslandHopper writes, a partial excerpt:

All the above aside, if you want to work in commercial shipping as a Deck Officer, you will still have to learn Celestial Nav and be examined to prove you are proficiant, if you fail then no ticket no job, very simple....

This is still the case here in Aus and most of the shipping nations of the world...
----------------------------

Modern techniques and equipment aside, this perhaps akin to moving the proverbial mountain, re the above, the following comes to mind: Thank heavens for small favors.
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Old 06-03-2010, 13:55   #212
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Example of computer navigation

Hi,

I just setup a new computer that will be used for our upcoming trip to the San Blas and Colombia. Let me start with the screen-shot:


The main window shows my trusty old MaxSea v10 with C-Map ed.3 chart. It shows us in Shelter Bay Marina with tracks to and from the San Blas from our previous trip. You can also see the AIS targets incl. the ships in the Panama Canal.

The smaller window in the lower left corner is Yacht-AIS-Transponder from Y-tronics. I can program my transponder with it and we use this for collision avoidance etc. It is much better equipped for that than MaxSea but it's also nice to see the targets relative to the chart. When you want to use AIS data in multiple programs, you need additional software to duplicate that data.

Other software installed: 1) Acronis TrueImage and 2) Franson GPSgate.
The computer has two serial ports. The first is connected to a NMEA mux and it has GPS, wind, depth, log, heading etc. The second port is connected to our AIS transponder (SmartRadio SR261). GPSgate is active on that second port. It receives the data from the AIS and creates 3 virtual ports: 1st has all info and is used by Yacht-AIS; 2nd is AIS-only data and is used by MaxSea; 3rd is GPS-only data and is also used by MaxSea for back-up positioning info. Franson GPSgate allows you to create these NMEA filters for serial ports.

Yacht-AIS is configured to use the GPS data from the transponder. When you look at the nav-data window of MaxSea you can see the lat&long from the primary GPS and at the bottom you see a 2nd lat&long which is from the AIS transponder.

I just got the new 2010 version of Acronis TrueImage. This software allows you to create an image of your hard-disk. I had it create a "secure zone" on my hard disk for storing this image, plus a made a second image on an external storage device (memory stick). There is no firewall, no anti-virus etc. The OS is just plain Windows XP with SP3.
When something breaks, I can restore from the image in the secure zone within 10 minutes. When the secure zone is damaged too, I pop in the memory stick and restore from that in about 15 minutes. When the hard disk breaks, I pop in a spare one that is already an exact clone from the in-use one (cloning done with Acronis too). Finally, I can boot from the Acronis CD and restore an image from memory stick to a brand new disk.
The important thing is that the image includes everything: XP, software, charts but also all the license codes and activations.

After the upcoming trip, I plan to switch to MaxSea TimeZero on Apple hardware.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 06-03-2010, 17:48   #213
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The following might appear a little off point, though perhaps not. In any case, I read the book mentioned below, which as I understand, is fact based. People here might enjoy it too.
offshore sailing and power voyaging.mht!http://oceannavigator.com/Media/33718_641.jpg" border="0" alt="" onload="NcodeImageResizer.createOn(this);" />Peter Nichols' book Sea Change tells of his voyage across the Atlantic alone on a 27-foot wooden boat.

Getting to the meat of the thing, while sailing alone, back to the U.S., Mr. Nichol's boat began taking on water, matter of fact, it leaked like the proverbial seive, eventually sinking out from under him. Nichols having sensed that he was in trouble, sent out a MAY DAY on his short range radio. His call was picked up by a Lykes Brothers freighter, that requested a position estimate, announcing that it would head to him. Nichols sent his position estimate, this based on sextant shots. The freighter picked him up, essentially as his boat sank under him.

The ships captain, during the course of conversation told Nichols that his reported position was dead on, the freigter knew where it was, plotted his position, and headed to those coordinates.

According to the book, which once again is suposedly factual, the ships captain allowed that he didn't think that ANY of his officers could have come up with a position fix as good as Nichol's was, especially with a sextant.

Nichols lost some or most of his personal gear, but did not end up feeding the fishes, all ending up more or less happily
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Old 06-03-2010, 19:15   #214
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Yes, a wonderful book....I have 2 copies!

Peter was a gifted writer, professional boat captain and, inter alia, taught creative writing at Georgetown University, here in Washington.

Thanks for the memories....

:-)

Bill
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Old 06-03-2010, 21:26   #215
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Yes, a wonderful book....I have 2 copies!

Peter was a gifted writer, professional boat captain and, inter alia, taught creative writing at Georgetown University, here in Washington.

Thanks for the memories....

:-)

Bill
Bill:

I came upon this book via the magazine Ocean Navigator, that mentioned it as a Nav Problem, they have one of these in each issue. The problem involved solving a sun and moon shot. If you or anyone else is interested, let me know and I will post the details/article. As I remember, ths particular problem appeared in the October 2008 issue. It was an interesting story.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:30   #216
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"... as old fashioned as it may seem, I wouldn't think of casting our lines without proper paper charts leading our way. This, of course, is for reasons of reliability and redundancy. But also, much like preferring the tactile quality of the printed book to a computer screen, I like the feel of a nautical chart. It takes me back to a world as wide as it once was. It evokes a sense of wonder and an urge to wander that no cold screen can."

Charted Waters - Cruising World
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:04   #217
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Try this for chartplotter stupidity. A chap took his insurance company to court because they wouldnt pay for the loss of his motor boat. Listen to what hapened and tell me if you think they were wrong. The person was aboard a fast (30knott) motor cruiser heading for Guernsey in the channel Islands from Dielette on the Normandie coast course to steer leaving Dielette at half tide up is 280T all ok he proceded on this corse and said to the court that he NEVER yes NEVER took his eyes off the chart plotter and cant understand why he hit Grande Amfroque at 30knotts as it shouldnt have been where it was. No he said I made no account for the tide as I was going faster than it was. The judge said but the tide was running across your course. Rely WELL my chart plotter never told me that. Case closed no money from the insurance. (wernt they mean)
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:11   #218
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old style nav

Many years ago I decided to try out the old style of navigation. I set off from Falmouth t go to Gambia on the East coast of Africa. I took all the tidal info and wind info and a copy of the almanac for sun rise and sun set times by lattitude. After a long trip wit varying winds and sea conditions using just the information and the books I arrived on the coast just 8 miles from my destination. I admit it took alot of book work and calculating but I felt that I had acheived something in this day and age of the almighty GPS and Cahrtplotters. I still love to see my possition in pencil on the chart even if I might be a bit out.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:23   #219
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Not sure if it was the same incident, but a couple of years back had a 40 foot(ish) motorboat ashore here with a large (could nigh on have climbed through size ) hole in the bow. Didn't sink because came back planing and then lifted straight out.

Initial story was "hit a container" - which lasted until Chartplotter was checked. Yup, spot on navigation - hit the mark bang on .....the giveaway was the confused track immediately after impact.

The unkind rumour was that Captain was down below "assisting" with the crew..........but nothing like a small island for a good story, true or not
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:38   #220
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gps and chartplotter dont tell height of bridges nor do they contain the notes the papoer charts have---so it seems a good idea to carry both,,,,ships are a different thing from sailboats and to compare them is like comparing oranges and apples and bananas--lol....add some soybeans to that as well--lol.....whole different thing--we arent shippers we are sailors----we do go under bridges--some of us go under --or try to--bridges without enough clearance for the mast--lol then sailing is bad entertainment.......
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:54   #221
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groan!

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I agree that the real issue is the user, and that we are dancing around the real issue...That a BLUEWATER sailor need to know how to navigate and not just read a video screen. Buck up and learn a sextant as well as the limitations of GPS, and become good at pilotage in all situations. Its not user friendly out there boys and girls...
I'm groaning at the concept of the "BLUEWATER sailor" here. Is this something we really need? Isn't it bad enough that a few marketing guys in the boat-sales industry have convinced us that a few hard-to-sell brands of boats are more "bluewater" than other easier-to-sell brands of boats?

The US Naval Academy dropped the celestial navigation requirement for its midshipmen back in 1998. Are graduates of this academy no longer BLUEWATER sailors?

We don't need a caste system within the cruising community. If we did, the last place to start would be the ability to operate a sextant.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:31   #222
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Hi Bash,

I don't really see this as trying to create a caste system among boaters, by marketers or the boaters themselves. In actuality boaters are already divided into different groups with different needs for boat types, skills and equipment.

It is a matter of different boats for different folks. Some boaters are racers, some are daysailors, some are blue water cruisers. Generally one buys a boat that is designed and built for the planned use, equips the boat accordingly, and hopefully gathers the appropriate skills as well.

If your planned sailing trips never leave San Francisco Bay then keeping a sextant on board would be pretty silly. For someone crossing the ocean a sextant can be a handy backup. Redundancy for all major systems is only prudent for sailing outside the range of BoatUS tows. For a few hundred dollars a sextant will give a completely independent method for determining position. If you lose your time source and all calculators it is still very easy to calculate latitude with only a couple of simple tables.
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Old 08-03-2010, 17:14   #223
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Sorry Bash if that offended you, but how do you want sailors that sail beyond the sight of land for extended periods to be called? And I am not talking about the military. They have backups on their ships worth thousands of dollars. Not on my budget unfortunately. I just think we should stop fooling ourselves and be prepared. To me that includes C-Nav.
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Old 08-03-2010, 18:17   #224
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gps and chartplotter dont tell height of bridges nor do they contain the notes the papoer charts have---so it seems a good idea to carry both
yes they do and yes they do contain the notes and if fact much more. My bluecharts of the area around nice in France for example have more notes then the SHOM paper ones as they have bits of data from other publications included as well.

Sure I try and keep paper charts but there not the day to day primary nav system
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:20   #225
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honestly, no offense taken whatsoever

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Sorry Bash if that offended you, but how do you want sailors that sail beyond the sight of land for extended periods to be called? And I am not talking about the military. They have backups on their ships worth thousands of dollars. Not on my budget unfortunately. I just think we should stop fooling ourselves and be prepared. To me that includes C-Nav.
Celestial navigation has its value, certainly, even if that value is subject to diminishing returns. I learned it back in high school, back when "Trigonometry" was an actual subject, and I have no doubt that it got me every bit as far as the classes I took in Latin. I also recall spending a lot of time back in high school learning how to use a slide rule.

To use C-Nav to distinguish between elite and non-elite sailors seems counterproductive. What you're actually measuring, in practice, is age. Most of the fellows who still know how to twiddle a sextant are the same fellows who used to be really accurate with a slide rule.

My point, and I apologize for my lack of eloquence when I first expressed it, is that we should focus on what unites us as a cruising community, rather than trying to develop taxonomies that stratify that community. If C-Nav is necessary to earn the Bluewater Badge, then let's throw away the badge itself.

Regardless, the discussion we've had up to this point has not in any way offended me. To answer your question specifically, let's just call sailors who sail beyond site of land, whether for extended periods or not, "sailors."
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