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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 09-30-2001
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Celestial Navigation

Navigation is a blend of science and art.
I love my electronics but!!!!!!!!
I still use paper charts and can work an accurate fix with a sextant.
Utilise all available means to know where you are, at all times as the sea is an unforgiving mistress.
A sextant is a valuable tool for coastal sailing as well,ie horizontal fixes from known objects from the shore .
If you can add subtract and tell the time then celestial is easy to master.
I find celestial navigation enhances the enjoyment of sailing.
Ther are some excellent books on the subject I would strongly recommend "Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen" by Mary Blewitt.

Regards

Vincent Maurice
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2001
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Celestial Navigation

Sorry to intrude into the message board with this but I have a Full sized Tamaya Marine Sextant available for sale for a no haggle price of $350 + $15 shipping, proceeds to benefit my 4 year old grandson with leukemia.
This Tamaya Sextant is in excellent condition and comes in a wooden box with catch. Model or year is unknown, OSAKA~TAMAYA is engraved on right end of arc and No 705636 is engraved on left side. There are three each filters for the square horizon mirror, four each filters for the index mirror and one additional eyepiece filter is provided for the scope.
I can be reached by email to: bruce@fullkeel.com and also at my homeport of http://www.fullkeel.com
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2008
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One final thought. In addition to all the practical reasons, it just feels good to lay out a little "cocked hat" on the chart and be able to say "Wow, I did that". It just a good feeling to able to do anything really well, especially when that thing is something that could save your boat, or life, or both.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
Nassau, Bahamas
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Old 12-31-2008
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I'm currently reading Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, and the troubles she had with the plastic sextant being out of calibration. I don't know how to use one, but I hope to learn. I think it would be interesting.

Greg
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Old 12-31-2008
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Yep. When the Iranians pop that big nuke in the ionosphere, there's nothing electronic that's going to be anything but a paperweight. Learn do do it the old fashioned way.

eric
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Old 12-31-2008
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When I began using celestial navigation, it was still the only dependable way to navigate offshore. On my first trip across the Pacific in 1969, it allowed me to accurately and confidently make all my landfalls.

By the early 70s, Loran was coming in, but its initial coverage was limited to a few hundred miles offshore and the receivers were huge, expensive and impractical for small craft. I continued to rely on celestial, and in fair weather, my sun-run-merpass-run-sun gave me very dependable fixes. The need to shoot morning or evening stars came only when it was impossible to get a couple of sunshots during the day, but I did them anyway, not just for the practice, but for the sheer joy of it. I continue to practice this wonderful art.

When I head out next summer, my two chart plotters and my two hand-held GPS units will be backed-up by a full complement of paper charts, a library of pilots and a sextant. Similarly, the Starpilot software in my computer and in my TI-T89 will be backed-up by almanac and sight reduction tables. I look forward to once again tuning-in to the progression of the celestial bodies.
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Someone mentioned a book to learn this fine art, but is it better to learn something like this in a classroom? If so, are there any classes still teaching how to use a sextant? I have seen class on how to use a GPS but not a sextant.

Thanks
Greg
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Old 12-31-2008
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This thread was over 7 years old...
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It's all new to me.

Greg
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Old 12-31-2008
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There is a much better Celestial thread here:
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...on-forget.html

...wherein you get to read my words of wisdom! Give my regards to the luddites!!
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