A Plug for Celestial Navigation - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 39 Old 02-23-2010
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I have not been sailing that long,only a couple of years,the thing that i have learned so far is not to put 100% trust in any one kind of navigation.I have a chartplotter and an independant GPS,thats backed up with upto date coastal charts and a hand bearing compass and binos with integrated compass.

I have gone about 4nm miles off of shore and out of sight of land and i now find myself of wanting to sell my boat and buy a boat thats capable of Ocean passages.

I have deliberated on this and whilst i am of the opinion that GPS will not fail,there is a small possibility that it could,i.e Sun flare or lightening strike.So ive ordered a sextant and the accompanying literature to teach myself how to use it,even if i never use it in anger i want to have it as a back up.

I dont want to find myself in the middle of the Atlantic and relying on a GPS fix that i wrote down in my log some days ago and then getting blown off course by weather for a few days,the odds are small but they are there.
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post #32 of 39 Old 02-23-2010
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BBC News - Sat-nav systems under increasing threat from 'jammers'

Report from BBC on interferring with GPS signal with criminal intent.

My preference it GPS but it would probably be wise to learn CN as a plan B.

Last edited by Ulladh; 02-23-2010 at 05:47 PM.
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post #33 of 39 Old 02-23-2010
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Originally Posted by bastonjock View Post
So ive ordered a sextant and the accompanying literature to teach myself how to use it,even if i never use it in anger i want to have it as a back up.

I dont want to find myself in the middle of the Atlantic and relying on a GPS fix that i wrote down in my log some days ago and then getting blown off course by weather for a few days,the odds are small but they are there.
This is the wrong time to start using a sextant... better to use it now in addition to your GPS so it's familiar when you finally need it.

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
s/v Essorant - 1972 Catalina 27
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post #34 of 39 Old 02-27-2010
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I don't want to join the discussion of what is better, but will say this: I've recently started a course in CN. I'm doing it because it is fun, challenging and give me a new skill. Something I can learn at home in preparation for our renewed distance cruising. It also teaches me to actually start looking at the sky and stars with new eyes, learn the stars' names and appreciate the heavens anew. It puts me a little bit in touch with those historical figures and seamen of old who did so much to develop our culture, history, language and modern world.

I also plan to adapt my CN course to a highschool credit course for my two teenage girls. The distance education board of our jurisdiction thought it was a fantastic idea.

So, I don't see CN as a competition for GPS. I'll always use GPS if available since, let's face it, it is so much easier. CN however is something that brings benefits far outside it's aparent immediate utility.

Magnus Murphy

Last edited by magnusmurphy; 02-27-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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post #35 of 39 Old 02-27-2010
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CN however is something that brings benefits far outside it's aparent immediate utility.
Much like, for instance, sailing.

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post #36 of 39 Old 03-01-2010
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Much like, for instance, sailing.
Nice! I think we need more things in our lives that "bring benefits far outside it's aparent immediate utility." Sailing is the perfect example.

Todd

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post #37 of 39 Old 03-04-2010
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...So, I don't see CN as a competition for GPS. I'll always use GPS if available since, let's face it, it is so much easier. CN however is something that brings benefits far outside it's aparent immediate utility.

Magnus Murphy
Well said Magnus - Agreed!

Wayne
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post #38 of 39 Old 03-06-2010
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Here is another that agrees with you magnusmurphy!!
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post #39 of 39 Old 03-23-2010
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As I've said; Starting the celestial course made me think that it would be cool to start learing more about the heavens.
So, Ive bought myself a spotting scope from Celestron. Waterproof, and rugged, with a zoom eyepiece so you don't need to lug around different eyepieces. Here is the scene:
Idyllic, isolated Caribbean or Pacific island (atoll)
warm tradewinds
starry night
campfire
red wine
Family and maybe friends from buddy boat
telescope and binocs to check out the beauty of the visible universe.

I also found a really cool little plaything called a SkyScout (also by Celestron). Check it out online.
I took the family to a "star party" this weekend. Check out the photos some of these amateur guys are taking!!!
CalASTRO - Home

The spotting scope I bought is 100mm (thus nice light gathering) and range from 20 - 66 times mag. Quite enough for seeing a lot of stuff out there and doesn't require super super stable (read - heavy and bulky...) mount that is critical for higher mags.

The scope is also perfect for daytime photography and I got an adaptor for the Canon Eos digital camera. Any wildlife within range - I'd be looking at their tonsils!

Magnus

Last edited by magnusmurphy; 03-23-2010 at 10:29 AM.
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