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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 15-02-2012, 12:12   #76
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Taught myself last winter and am brushing up again with an occasional sight and problem solving from back page of Ocean Navigator magazine.

To me, it is the essence of offshore navigation and extremely satisfying to get it right.

I don't learn it because I'm some crazy survivalist who thinks GPS is going to go bad. On the other hand, I think there's more to the spirit of navigation than simply staring at a video game.
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Old 15-02-2012, 12:16   #77
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Come on people. I'll give it another try: in the age of exploration, a sextant was like a secret weapon and it or more primitive devices was all that was available to determine ones position. Not that there was much important about it because they did not know what was lying ahead of them... they were drawing the first charts as they went.

Ever since that day, navigators have embraced newer technologies and devices and now today the secret weapons of navigation are receivers that can work with Russian, Chinese and soon European satellite constellations in addition to the US military GPS system.

So let us assume a disaster in which a lightning strike takes out all of our electronics. Would you still have an accurate clock? Did you ever think about that? Any clock that takes a battery will be taken out by the lightning strike. I for one, must admit that I would loose all clocks aboard. Which would make my sextant only usable for the noon shot if I recall my lessons correctly (I lied.. I did get my celestial navigation paper but it's so long ago that I couldn't do it without instructions today).

So here we are and we have had this lightning strike. This does NOT put us back into the age of exploration because we are now in an emergency mode... we only need to be saved, to find safe haven and civilization; we don't need to find a West passage to India!

All we really need is a compass. On any trip I make, I only need a compass to save myself.

ciao!
Nick.
Nick, you don't need an accurate timepiece to do a lunars, ask Joshua Slocum.
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Old 15-02-2012, 12:40   #78
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Taught myself last winter and am brushing up again with an occasional sight and problem solving from back page of Ocean Navigator magazine.

To me, it is the essence of offshore navigation and extremely satisfying to get it right.

I don't learn it because I'm some crazy survivalist who thinks GPS is going to go bad. On the other hand, I think there's more to the spirit of navigation than simply staring at a video game.

Well Put.....Michael.......
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:17   #79
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Taught myself last winter and am brushing up again with an occasional sight and problem solving from back page of Ocean Navigator magazine.

To me, it is the essence of offshore navigation and extremely satisfying to get it right.

I don't learn it because I'm some crazy survivalist who thinks GPS is going to go bad. On the other hand, I think there's more to the spirit of navigation than simply staring at a video game.
Well said , it's just unfortunate that some people don't get it and feel the need to put it down, maybe a touch of insecurity there, who knows?....
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:28   #80
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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A couple hundred bucks and some study time. That's all this comes down to, and anyone who's buying gizmos and doo-dads for ten times the price but passing up celestial nav is really out there to me. Endless threads on here with people arguing about **** that really has zero bearing on safety at sea, and celestial navigation gets lumped in with shitting off a plank with a whole in it between the head and the bowsprit.
Excuse me? Are you off duty? I really hope you were talking about shitting in general and not addressing me...

Anyway, you missed the essence of my post that you replied to: do you really think your sextant is a safety item? Do you also have a mechanical clock? Do you really need those to survive or would just a compass do?

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Nick, you don't need an accurate timepiece to do a lunars, ask Joshua Slocum.
Can't find him, he lost his way... can you explain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
To me, it is the essence of offshore navigation and extremely satisfying to get it right.
With that I fully agree. But for me the sextant is the game and the GPS is the tool.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:35   #81
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Let's say you're at Lat 38.685510 Long -177.890625 and everything fries. If you haven't been charting your location as you go it's a pretty good chance you'll sail a long time with hitting land. Supposing you have been charting though, will DR get you to an island?

Note that location is the middle of the North Pacific.
Did anyone actually look at that charted position. It is sitting in steady westerly flow. 600 miles to the south on a reach is Midway island, which has a radio station you can 'rdf' even with just a desk am radio and an airport which will have jet contrails pointing at it twice a day, and there is along chain of other island on an e/w axis, so you are unlikely to miss it. The only problem is the islands are low, so when your DR starts to say you are close you need to keep a good watch - otherwise its almost a perfect destination.

On the otherhand, pretty much the only reason to be at that position is if you have come up from Japan and are heading for the PNW. The North American coast is 2300 miles pretty much downwind. If you just wanted to keep on, and not bail out, you would steer a bit north of the morning sunrise and keep the wind behind and start looking for mountains in 12 days.
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:38   #82
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Granted GPS is a great tool of the day but to categorize a sextant as a game is nothing more than a weak generalization. Just because GPS is a tool doesn't make a sextant a toy anymore than a hand saw is a toy compared to a worm-drive saw.
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:44   #83
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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When there's reefs, you normally have arrived.

ciao!
Nick.
The east coast of Queensland being a notable exception.
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:45   #84
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

Is all OK Nick ya know if your Stuff ever gives up you can send me a e-mail and I can use my stuff to tell ya where I am !! LOL just kidding Bob and Connie
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:52   #85
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Granted GPS is a great tool of the day but to categorize a sextant as a game is nothing more than a weak generalization. Just because GPS is a tool doesn't make a sextant a toy anymore than a hand saw is a toy compared to a worm-drive saw.
Well, I didn't say or mean it like that. I mean that I do not use celestial navigation for navigating my boat. I use my GPS for navigating the boat and use (well it's a long time ago) a sextant for the fun of it. You can disagree with that but 99.9% of all boats and ships do just that, if they have a sextant at all.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 15-02-2012, 14:21   #86
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Taught myself last winter and am brushing up again with an occasional sight and problem solving from back page of Ocean Navigator magazine.

To me, it is the essence of offshore navigation and extremely satisfying to get it right.

I don't learn it because I'm some crazy survivalist who thinks GPS is going to go bad. On the other hand, I think there's more to the spirit of navigation than simply staring at a video game.
Its not??? No wonder why I couldn't find the coin slot.
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Old 15-02-2012, 15:27   #87
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Well, I didn't say or mean it like that. I mean that I do not use celestial navigation for navigating my boat. I use my GPS for navigating the boat and use (well it's a long time ago) a sextant for the fun of it. You can disagree with that but 99.9% of all boats and ships do just that, if they have a sextant at all.

ciao!
Nick.
I don't disagree with that at all but you did say toy. I just feel Celestial navigation is deeply rooted in sailing as a whole and personally don't want it to be discarded as a novelty item of little concern. Celestial Navigation has accomplished so much, although GPS does it in a fraction of the time. Every time I see a date on a chart, it is usually pre-GPS. While this means that the accuracy is not exact and at times risky in some of the outer lying Islands. Never the less, GPS will soon enough have a larger "positive" contribution but for now the history of Celestial navigation is paramount.
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Old 15-02-2012, 16:55   #88
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

@Nick, to me a GPS is a good all rounder tool to have, but, to paraphrase the character in your Icon, a sextant is an elegant tool for a more civilized age.
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Old 15-02-2012, 17:44   #89
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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Eric,


Off topic, but a side note, the members that make up the top choice, even though they stood a chance of catching a bit of flaming by their admittance of never learning, for me at least, their credibility for everything they post has gone up a notch.

Why thank you!

Personally I'd like to take the time to learn, and may one day, but I doubt it. To much other crap crammed in there!!!!!!!
Fact is, like Bob said, I'm gettin'' home, come hell, or high water, I'm gettin' where Im goin'!!

btw, cell phone in the boat, in pocket, shelf, or what have you. They would get possibly get fried to by lightning strike??
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Old 15-02-2012, 17:46   #90
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Re: The New and Improved Celestial Navigation Poll

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@Nick, to me a GPS is a good all rounder tool to have, but, to paraphrase the character in your Icon, a sextant is an elegant tool for a more civilized age.
...or from a more civilized age.
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