Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife
So don't tell me they could navigate. If it was easy to take a sextant sight they wouldn't have been kicking the SatNav machine for 8 hours to get one fix putting you somewhere 300 miles ashore.
Don't tell me the guys who say they can reduce a sight actually can, they can't. They put it into a calculator and push the button. That's what they did in the 70's and did till GPS came out, then all the crap was shoved in the bottom draw and never, ever looked at since.
I'm not saying recreational cruisers are all wonderful sailors but we have the tools that do make it much easier. We can't outlaw ding-a-lings, and tragedies happen too often, but the benefits of cruising outweigh them
Mark, tools just make the live easier but basic knowledge can be necessary. Here for having a licence that permits you to cross Oceans (I am talking about private boats) you have to know how to find your way in the Ocean without GPS, computers or even or dedicated calculators. Everything is made by hand and that's a indispensable part of the examination. If you don't know how to do it you will not pass.
Regarding to be easy there is a guy that cross Oceans in a boat the size of a kayak doing all navigation with a small sextant he invented. If the guy can make it on a kayak that will not be difficult on a much bigger boat, not everyday, but that is part of the navigation: Far away of the shore you have only to know your approximated position and where you are going. With more settled weather you will have a good reading and will know precisely where you are.