bougainville to cairns in 95 and the gps was down for a 3 weeks
Would you kindly supply some proof of a 3 week outage of GPS
. I think it would have made some news. In any event these were the early days of GPS and a PLANNED and ANNOUNCED maintenance
event took down the system for 18 hours from what I am able to research
. The entire GPS system while tested for some years only was declared fully operational in 1995 so my guess is that you were using a pre-cursor system rather than GPS.
Of course the system no longer requires this type of maintenance/outage and I can think of many passages in which 18 hour cloud cover would prevent me from navigating by celestial.
As to a sextant
to find my "island" after Armageddon...there might be a problem finding any islands after to polar caps melt! (g)
Let me be clear that I can appreciate the desire to learn something like Celestial and the fun it might be to take a sight and reduce it and come out somewhere within a few miles of where the GPS says you are. Hell, some people enjoy tying flies or knitting. I am only commenting on the NEED to know Celestial in this day.
Furthermore, I am simply talking about GPS positioning...NOT chartplotters and electronic charts and auto-steering. I am totally in agreement with Pelagic about that.
I might add that in addition to many decades of sailing using traditional coastal nav tools, and self-training on a Davis sextant with a William F. Buckley tape and several "How to" books
... I also have part time & full time cruised for quite a few years and never encountered a situation where my GPS did not work OR did not provide a significant improvement in positioning over what the best sextant and user could provide. (The sextant and books
are in the closet for good.)