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post #7 of Old 01-04-2016
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re: Sextant and finding out where you aren't

Sadly in this day using a sextant for navigation is pretty much the same as commuting to work on a horse.
Amazingly, everybody seems to think the extent of use for a sextant begins and ends with LOP's. It doesn't.
If you know the height of a lighthouse or a cliff, you can work out distance off. Every navigator could double the angle on the bow to find speed and distance. And so many more cool things.
If I didn't have to sleep once in a while I might be tempted to give up my 10" chartplotter and go back to those much more difficult and unreliable days of yore.
Of course, even with the most modern and expensive gear, a professional navigator can still find a tiny reef in the whole huge south Indian Ocean to drive his boat onto at full speed, so for some I guess it doesn't matter what you are using if you don't bother look at it.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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