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View Poll Results: Keeping celestial nav skills alive
Never learned, too many sight reduction books to haul around 18 8.22%
Plan to learn, on the "to do list" 80 36.53%
Learned, but no longer practice 56 25.57%
Learned, but only practice to keep the skills 50 22.83%
The hubby/wife does it 1 0.46%
Learned, practice every chance for that perfect pin wheel 14 6.39%
Voters: 219. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-05-2012, 17:17   #301
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Originally Posted by chala View Post
That was the point.
All best.
I over embellished what was a very competitive and stressful scenario. You, along with other midshipmen on your senior cruise need to pass this class with (4) lops tight enough for passing marks, and to repeat that on other nights. You would feel good for a fellow midshipmen when he/she hollers out "hot damn" knowing he/she got it for that night, but still sweating bullets for your own performance. This was not the way I wanted to learn CN, but that was how it was done.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:35   #302
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Having recently passed my Yachtmaster Grade 1 exam (this is the Danish equivalent of RYA Yachtmaster Ocean), I also learned how to use a sextant and I plan to keep up the skill by practicing. It is good to know and besides I once had a plotter freeze up while out sailing. fortunately, it was coastal sailing so out came the paper charts and back we go to terrestial navigation.

By the way - Danish Yachtmaster also requires learning the signal flags, and morse code (talk about old-fashioned)
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:45   #303
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Good job on your accomplishments!
I would not say "old fashion". How about keeping up with the useful Maritime art forms, like ships bells on the clock, decorative marlinspike work, etc. Signal flags are also great for "dressing ship" for a Holiday, and there is a proper sequence arranging the flags and according to color.

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Old 14-05-2012, 03:57   #304
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

In commercial maritime, celestial navigation is taught, but not always practised. I'd say on most cruise ships I sailed on, maybe only one or two of us were keen on sextant use, the others knew little more then the basics.
There is nothing old fashioned about sextant use, on the contrary, it's a basic requirement and necessacity for anyone contemplating a deep ocean passage.

I recently put up on an article on my blog comparing sextants that are available on the market today: Choosing a Sextant Zenith Ocean - Celestial Navigation Forum Zenith Ocean Celestial Navigation Forum
I've tried most of them, and have included my estimate on the UK market price in pounds sterling.

In general celestial navigation is much easier for us commercial sailors on relatively stable platforms.

I do have an ambition one day to try and charter a square rigger and run a non-profit course/voyage on celestial nav, although I'm sure its already been done.

I'm in my late twenties, and when I take young cadets (midshipmen in the navy?) and show them the sextant, initially they fear it as complicated, but once they realise how simple it actually is, most become converts and go on to become proficient and keen.
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Old 28-05-2012, 08:06   #305
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Re: The new and improved celestial navigation poll

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Maybe you could add one more category. Joined the 21st Century so I don't need a 300 year old instrument to guide me anymore.
I feel that way about religion, but given the choice between being an expert at celestial nav, or expert at reading gps coordinates, I'll take the former any day, and have the latter stashed for emergency only.
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Old 22-10-2012, 07:23   #306
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Originally Posted by capn_billl
I might have a sextant, if I thought it could help pick up an impressionable young lady at the buffet line
Yesterday I was down on the beach, checking index and side errors.

Young woman passerby: "What is that thing"?

Me: "It's a sextant".

Her (disappointed, leaving): "Oh. I thought it might be something cool"!
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Old 22-10-2012, 08:03   #307
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

I still shoot a noonsite but admit to using a computerised programme these days to give me a fix. I still have sight reduction tables and Norries, but I could (given some time and thought) probably still provide a position from calculation.

However.......
A sextant is useful for plotting coastal fixes from fixed points along a coastline...and it is brilliant for watching solar eclipses as long as it is a quality instrument and you use all the filters.
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Old 22-10-2012, 08:30   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svanen
Yesterday I was down on the beach, checking index and side errors.

Young woman passerby: "What is that thing"?

Me: "It's a sextant".

Her (disappointed, leaving): "Oh. I thought it might be something cool"!
Heh, heh, heh...

He said "sex"-tant...
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Old 22-10-2012, 08:43   #309
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

On the life rafts you don't need a sextant because you are basically waiting for the authorities to come and pick you up.
Now Life boats you have the choice of waiting for rescue or Rescueing yourself by going toward the nearest port... Now you need a Sextant and an almanac. Don't need the other pubs if you have a good scientific caculator.
Capt Bligh sailed and navigated 3000 miles in a crowded open boat, with just a sextant, a pocket watch and a bound log. He was well practiced in the art of Navigation.
Now I for one perfer to sail on ships with Life boats and not rafts... For the obvious reasons.
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Old 23-10-2012, 11:26   #310
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Originally Posted by Svanen View Post
Yesterday I was down on the beach, checking index and side errors.

Young woman passerby: "What is that thing"?

Me: "It's a sextant".

Her (disappointed, leaving): "Oh. I thought it might be something cool"!
You can laugh when the batteries fail on her iThings.
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Old 23-10-2012, 11:27   #311
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
I still shoot a noonsite but admit to using a computerised programme these days to give me a fix. I still have sight reduction tables and Norries, but I could (given some time and thought) probably still provide a position from calculation.

However.......
A sextant is useful for plotting coastal fixes from fixed points along a coastline...and it is brilliant for watching solar eclipses as long as it is a quality instrument and you use all the filters.
We watched the transit of Venus earlier this year, which was clearly visible through the filters.
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Old 23-10-2012, 12:14   #312
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

It's a "sex" Tant. Was she perhaps a dutch girl? "Tant" is "aunt" in Dutch.
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Old 23-10-2012, 12:17   #313
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

I feel the same about my sextant as I do about my E6-B computer. Used them both for over thirty years navigating around the World, and still haven't replaced the batteries.
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Old 23-10-2012, 12:25   #314
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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It's a "sex" Tant. Was she perhaps a dutch girl? "Tant" is "aunt" in Dutch.
OR, she was American, thought you were camping on the beach and inviting her to visit your sex-tent.
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Old 24-10-2012, 07:49   #315
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Did an Atlantic crossing this summer. Saw the Sun 4 days Stars twice 20 Knots and Lumpy Glad I had two GPS's! Did have Sextant, Almanac and tables. used 60D=s/t though to calculate when to start looking for land! Always suprised at how busy it is and how much time jobs take when at sea.
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