Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Vancouver Island
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The fact is that most of us would work out our sights with calculators anyway. That saves us having to carry the volumes of books needed but brings the battery problem back. If you are going to carry a calculator (or even a flashlight) then several $100 GPS units are much cheaper than one reasonable sextant.
Turn on the GPS at dawn, take a fix, do the same at noon, do the same at evening twilight, one set of batteries will last weeks.
The sextant needs:
either books or a calculator (batteries)
accurate time (batteries) or a SW radio (batteries)
Clear skies and a steady deck
and even then you'd be lucky to get within two miles.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217