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Old 03-16-2001
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Dan Dickison is on a distinguished road
Celestial Navigation

Is there any real purpose in celestial navigation today in the age of GPS?

Dan Dickison responds:

Almost every known expert on navigation or seamanship has a simple answer for you—yes! Time and time again the experts caution us not to become reliant upon GPS technology alone because there's always the possibility of an error due to power failure, inaccessibility to satellite signals, or other unforeseen complications. I think that you should read the article that world renown navigator and router Bill Biewenga published here on SailNet recently. Bill describes in compelling detail why it is that he never relies solely on GPS. He always has a dead-reckoning plot going while he's underway, and where possible, he maintains fixes derived through celestial navigation.

Don't take my word for it. Have a look at what Bill has to say on the topic by reading "The Importance of DR."


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