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Old 18-06-2010, 20:21   #1
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Time to Dust Off the Sextant ?

This recent article in Huffington Post got me thinking that it might be time to dust off the sextant, update the tables and refresh my (rusty) memory on how to use the thing.

DK Matai: Could Super Solar Flares Take Us Back To 5000 BC?

If they're even somewhat right, one good Coronal Mass Ejection could make things very difficult for anyone dependent upon the GPS system!

What do you think?

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Old 18-06-2010, 20:29   #2
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Originally Posted by Intentional Drifter View Post
This recent article in Huffington Post got me thinking that it might be time to dust off the sextant, update the tables and refresh my (rusty) memory on how to use the thing.

DK Matai: Could Super Solar Flares Take Us Back To 5000 BC?

If they're even somewhat right, one good Coronal Mass Ejection could make things very difficult for anyone dependent upon the GPS system!

What do you think?

ID
I would worry more that the government will just flip the switch off.
It seems to me that there are all kinds of scenarios that could warrant a shut down of the system.
Either way, I think I'll dig mine out and brush up a little too.
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Old 18-06-2010, 22:11   #3
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The more complicated any engineering application gets the higher the chance of catastrophic failure. If you like the idea of getting all of your navigation data from electronic equipment you have more faith in those systems than I do.

Have a sextant, almanac, reduction tables and paper charts.
Use it often and you will have the skill when you need it.

When on a passage my sextant gets used at least twice a day, the data reduced and then sometimes even compared with the GPS version of where I am in the universe. It might be the only way to navigate for a spell and if nothing else you can amuse young children and positively tantalizes lithe, sexy women with your navigational skills.


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Old 21-06-2010, 04:46   #4
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Wink

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... positively tantalizes lithe, sexy women with your navigational skills.


Um Saudade
Is this true? Is a sextant really a babe magnet? Does the name come from something other than 1/6 of a circle and is 'shooting the sun' really a double entendre?

Hey babe, ya wana see my reduction tables?
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Old 21-06-2010, 05:33   #5
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positively tantalizes lithe, sexy women with your navigational skills.




All the women I know say "look at me, look at me".... and there you are looking at the sun and horizon.......


Chics dig laptop plotters. As they navigate they can check Facebook.


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Old 30-06-2010, 11:05   #6
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All the women I know say "look at me, look at me".... and there you are looking at the sun and horizon.......


Chics dig laptop plotters. As they navigate they can check Facebook.


How do you get facebook 1300 miles off shore heading west to French Polynesia?
I have read that a cheap sextant is usually all you need and definately put a rope on it and wear it on deck. One bad knock and that's it they are done. Which makes an affordable sextant all the more advisable.
With the way this world is going not to mention the outside factors involved in a GPS reading. I think I will stick with a good chart, sextant,and modern reduction tables to get me where I am going. If I can get the course down to 1 1/2 miles of variation I think a good pair of binoculars are the only thing else I'll need.
I have been reading sky and sextant published circa 1974 or 75. I am having a hard time find finding reduction tables and the sort online though. I know according to the book you can get them from a yearly published book with even more info then the tables alone.
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Old 30-06-2010, 11:15   #7
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How do you get facebook 1300 miles off shore heading west to French Polynesia?
.
The same way they find the latest gossip on who Jennifer Anniston is dating.

I dunno, but women can do it.
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Old 30-06-2010, 11:20   #8
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This chick just loves a guy (or a gal) whos quietly self assured and knows what hes doing without making a fuss over it.
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Old 30-06-2010, 12:13   #9
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The same way they find the latest gossip on who Jennifer Anniston is dating.

I dunno, but women can do it.

they're crafty those women aren't they? God love em !!
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Old 30-06-2010, 14:10   #10
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I am having a hard time find finding reduction tables and the sort online though.
Below are links that you can use to access nautical almanacs online as well as a separate link for the increments and corrections.

Download

http://www.slsps.org/documents/incre...orrections.pdf

Nautical almanac downloads are free on this website.
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Old 30-06-2010, 15:14   #11
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(From the HP article) This time, the zenith of CMEs is set for 2012 as the solar cycle #24 reaches a crescendo



PREPARE!
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Old 30-06-2010, 21:03   #12
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Anjou,
You are a jewel amongst us rocks.
regards,
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Old 30-06-2010, 21:29   #13
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Uh oh. Did you say major solar flares in 2012? Uh oh. BTW who is Jennifer Aniston? And what ever happened to those cheap sextants by Davis? Mine worked great. I once mentioned not knowing how to navigate to an old Norski fisherman. He scooped the snoose out and said: "Vell, Sonny, you go out de Strait and hang a left beyond Tatoosh. Ven your AM radio picks up San Diego, hang a right. Follow de jet contrails, dey'll take you right into Honolulu." He was right. I used a book and learned to use my sextant along the way .....
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Old 30-06-2010, 21:30   #14
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BTW, Anjou, you are wonderful.
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Old 02-07-2010, 17:52   #15
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Links on line may not be the thing to use if you can’t get on line. The Sight Reduction Tables for Air Navigation (Pub 249), volumes 2 and 3 contain all the reduction data you will ever need and it comes in two manageable books.

Any edition will do as long as the print has not been read completely off the pages. I carry a 1972 edition of Vol. 2 and a 1985 edition of Vol. 3.

Other than that you will need a nautical almanac for the current year and the best deal there is the British commercial edition.

With these books and some blank plotting sheets you can do a running fix with simple math.

For fun you can do an accurate fix with the naked eye twice a day, weather permitting. I have done naked eye sights and determined location with a mile of true location.

Still thinking a sextant is more of a babe magnet than all the electronic gizmos.

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