I gotta agree. Most of us that use these "electronic toys" have lost
some of the skills that helped the sailors of old learn to be seammen - if they ever had those skills. I know I have lost them. When I sailed to Hawaii singlehanded in 1980 I navigated by sextant
. Now I have doubts that I could even relearn celestial at the age of 80.
IMO anyone that has used celestial, at least anyone that has used celestial on a small boat, realizes the inaccuracy of a celestial fix and knows to use all other senses. There have been more dangerous groundings and losses since affordable GPS
than there were before. Sure, part of the reason is that there are more small boats out there now. But a big factor is that too often navigators, or more properly people that think they are navigators, rely on the accuracy of the GPS
without understanding that the GPS only tells you where you are. It doesn't tell you where the land is, either above water
or only slightly below. They rely on charts
, paper or digital. Often they are located with the accuracy of whatever method used when first located. A good navigator will use his/her eyes, ears, nose, depth sounder
if he/she has it, etc. If none of those contradict GPS, well use GPS. But remember, do not count on charts
, especially away from commercial shipping
routes, to be more accurate than obtained with a hand held sextant
, or even an astrolabe.