Join Date: Dec 2001
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Celestial Navigation? Forget it!
This whole discussion about CN seems to suggest that there are some who think at least one of the following is the case.
1) the equipment is delicate and expensive,
2) the math is too difficult,
3) the tables are dificult to follow, or
3) it takes too much time to do CN.
Considering how some folks are becoming more insistent on getting "instant gratification", is it any wonder that CN is being viewed by some as an archaic way of determining one''s location? From a navigator''s point of view, what could be better than turning on handheld GPS, and within a matter of seconds, knowing where you are, within two meters?
I''m by no means an ole'' salt, but even I know that electronic equipment and saltwater don''t mix. There are just too many things that can go wrong, even with multiple GPS units and/or a box-full of fresh batteries.
Getting back to the original set of reasons why not to use CN, I was able to get a rather good (Russian Navy unit) sextant for far less than a handheld GPS. The sextant is rather sturdy, but of course, reasonable care should be used with all optical equipment. I know how to add, subtract, multiply and devide, so I have all the math skills needed to do CN. I have all the books needed, and the only one that must be updated is the Almanac. Even with the cost of the books, the amount of money spent to be able to do CN is still less than the cost of a decent handheld GPS, not including any software add-ons. With regard to the time it takes to do CN, a noon fix may take 10 minutes, 30 minutes tops. When you''re out in the middle of the ocean, what other pressing activities are there that keep you from taking 30 minutes to get a CN fix?
~ Happy sails to you ~