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Old 19-02-2010, 11:51   #91
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Good post Bill -- says it all
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Old 19-02-2010, 11:52   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Ye, sure - unless you happen to be mid-Pacific.

b.
I was thinking the same thing, Mid Gulf of Mexico. Storm blows you further north than expected. Unless you have loclal knowlege of northern west coast florida, you are gonna end up on the oyster beds possibly.

Oh well...to each thier own. Far be it for me to tell someone that being prepared is just good sense.
YMMV
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Old 19-02-2010, 14:35   #93
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You know there are other options besides GPS and sextant. The USAF still occassionally sells off pieces of classified astrogation technology that was used on some of the high altitude spy planes. Basically, a ball turret with optical recognition onboard that could locate stars IN BROAD DAYLIGHT and compute a position fix from them OPTICALLY without the need for any external references besides the ability to locate stars. While zooming around at high speeds on recon or combat missions.

I don't recall the proper name for them...and they've never declassified the technology and made the complete system available for public sale. But that would work just as well on a sailboat, little "R2D2" dome on the quarter, buzzing about and doing the reductions all internally. I suppose you could call it the most automated, precise, and expensive "sextant" ever built, complete with internal star finders and tables.
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Old 19-02-2010, 16:08   #94
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post

1. Sextants are old technology, but in the right hands might still be useful....occasionally.

(...)

Is there any more to say?

:-)
Oh, yes, there is - like the fact that old technology can be as good as new technology. In a sense, good technology is timeless.

Examples:
- the wheel,
- the sail,
- the water closet,

Huh, I think you are getting my drift.

;-)
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Old 19-02-2010, 16:54   #95
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Of the four books I bought on the subject, the best was "Self Taught Navigation" by Robert Kittredge, from which I borrowed the above.

Amazon.com: Self-Taught Navigation: Ten Easy Steps to Master Celestial Navigation (9780873584968): Robert Yates Kittredge: Books

Kittredge explains "how to tell time withhout trying to teach you how the watch was made".

Pity I did not see your recommendation earlier. I have still to get a sextant, but as a precursor I recently ordered:

Celestial Navigation in the GPS Age by John Karl

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0939837757/ref=oss_product

and

Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Blewitt

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0070059284/ref=oss_product

As I am not out to end up confused and disillusioned, I am hoping these aren’t too bad as introductory texts?

(On the subject of how the watch was made it is actually fascinating to read about longitude and John Harrison’s clocks!)
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Old 19-02-2010, 19:19   #96
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Math and I are not friends. We have never had a good relationship and yet I found navigational math (4th grade level or less) easy enough. The sequence of the calculations is more difficult, but with my jiffy worksheet it's no big deal. Working with the almanac and tables is more like purusing the phone book (does anyonne even do that anymore?) than a math test.

Fianlly!! The Florida weather is back to normal and I'll shoot a few noon sites this weekend just for grins. Thankfully back aboard after weeks of fridgid weather!!!!
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Old 19-02-2010, 19:54   #97
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Even with deduced reconing on has to have bearings of some kind to give their possition credibility. Time, speed, tide and current, windage all go into the guess. Soundings can help as can compas bearings on known waypoints. Every bit you can get! A sextant can help. As can a gps. Tantric sex however has always seemed to distract aquiring any fixed point in time and space for me though.....
And sextant use DURING tantric sex can be downright challenging. Actually, being one of those geeky reenactor types, I built and learned to use a cross staff, which, as a backup, takes up a good deal less room.
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Old 20-02-2010, 01:46   #98
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Even though I have a Furuno Gps connected to my laptop running MaxSea and connected to the autopilot....I have a servo pendulum wind vane
Even though I have a Northstar Plotter with AIS in the cockpit .... I have radar and eyes and we run watches
Even though I have a backup handheld GPS....I have a sextant, almanac and HO229 tables...and I use it...usually taking noonsites to confirm latitude and to remember how to use it.

GPS is great, I use it all the time, but what happens if it breaks...or if the batteries are flat...and you can't start your engine ?

Anything electrical or mechanical can break...usually at the worst possible moment.

As bluewater sailors we need always to have a back up...for everything, in the event of disaster.

As for tantric sex, I have no idea what that is...just plain sex always seemed pretty good to me !
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Old 20-02-2010, 09:14   #99
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I subscribe to Albro's view.

barnie
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Old 20-02-2010, 09:50   #100
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Yeah. Get a sextant and chronometer and the books if you need a hobby. Bug forget it for backup navigation. The chance you'll be able to get a useful
fix are so slim as to make it foolish as a backup. Sailors of old didn't use a sextant as backup. It won't be accurate enough to avoid reefs. You won't get a sight off the stratus shrouded coast of North America. Useless. Take extra fresh water. A spare rudder. A spare radio. But the sextant is a useless relic.
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Old 20-02-2010, 10:12   #101
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daddle, that's quite a conclusion!
I would venture to say it is rather contrary to most. I sure am glad to be informed. Thank you.
Hmmm, but what in God's name is it based on?
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Old 20-02-2010, 10:21   #102
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It's my opinion. Which is worth zip. I base it on experience and that very few blue water have a sextant, could use one if they had to, or could get a useful fix when they really needed it if the knew how to.
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Old 20-02-2010, 10:39   #103
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It's my opinion. Which is worth zip.
Now, THERE is the unvarnished truth. Daddle, we take you at your word.

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Old 20-02-2010, 10:54   #104
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I will chime in with those who say relying on one method of navigation only, is a fool's game. Personally I like the Celtic cross as a back up navigation instrument. The Polynesians were able to navigate great distances with out the benefit of modern instruments. The gray matter between the ears is the greatest boon to navigation. In the immortal words of "Capt. Ron" "If we get lost, we can always pull in and ask directions."
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Old 20-02-2010, 11:34   #105
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Before the advent of GPS...and before SatNav, everyone navigated with a sextant. I have a friend that sailed all the way from NZ to Tahiti, Hawaii, Vancouver, Mexico, Tuamotus, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji in 1985 with a sextant.

If you think a GPS is going to stop you hitting reefs, think again...the GPS is only as good as the charts and some of the charts in the Pacific are more than a mile off.

Navigation is a summation of all the methods at your disposal.. one should NEVER rely totally on one, it will get you into trouble one day
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