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SailBlogs Member Group - Celestial Navigation

Group Information
Name:
Celestial Navigation
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I'm hoping to involve persons who are interested in celestial navigation. Whether you're just curious, interested in the historical aspects, want to keep your skills sharp, or want to use celestial as a backup for bluewater cruising, let's talk!
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36 Members
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Messages
n/a wrote on
08 November 2011 03:33:12Z
Hi, I am new to celestial navigation and was wondering if there was anyone here that could help a newbie with some questions. I read that Seahawk X “was amazed when the plot came to within 1 Nm of the GPS coordinate.” I can't get any where near this close. Today's AM sun sight is 14 Nm to the SW, the noon sight was 9.3 Nm due east, and the PM sight was 24.25 Nm SE. I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. Anyone willing to help? Thanks, Dan
Cygnus wrote on
20 February 2011 20:26:04Z
I am recently retired and looking to gain some bluewater experience. I would like to crew for someone who needs an additional crew member for a bluewater passage. I teach both the basic and advanced celestial navigation classes for the USPS and would be willing to teach anyone onboard during the passage. A motivated person should be able to take sun sights and get a reliable running fix on a series of sun sights after 2-3 days of practice. Some additional instruction should allow star, planet, and moon sights to be taken with confidence. One of the nice things about being able to take moon sights is that the moon and sun are often available at the same time. This gives a "fix," as opposed to a "running fix," and is more reliable. You can also get a fix by taking star/planet sights at twilight. I have two high quality metal sextants, so you wouldn't even need your own sextant. If anyone doubts the desirability of knowing celestial navigation for bluewater cruising, look up book called "Red Sky in Mourning."
Painkiller wrote on
06 August 2010 21:27:19Z
Just joined the group. My husband and I are taking the Celestial navagation class through the United States Power Squadron now. We just finished taking our first sighting on Lake Superior and did all the sight reduction math and found we were within 1.6 nm of our GPS location. That was really exciting to see how close you can really get. My husband purchased a Texas Instruments calculator (you know, the complex one) and he programmed all the sight reduction math equations into it, so all we have to do is plug in the LHA, Dec and ?? I am forgetting the third thing. Have done all the math long hand as well, so we understand how to get there without the calculator as well. Once we turn in our sightings we will have to take the final test (take home). Wish us luck!
Sheer Magic wrote on
11 July 2010 05:04:40Z
Hi All, Like Seahawk, self taught using tables. Have had a bit of a look at S-Tables but would like to get a lot more proficient, before trying to learn something new. Hope to cruise to the Abrolhos Islands off the coast of Western Australia next year and get practice doing it- aiming for my Yachtmaster Offshore. thanks for starting up the group it has been a long time coming with a far mixture of experts and novices alike. Well Done! All the best Ray
Dagmar wrote on
19 February 2010 22:13:10Z
Hi, Me and my boyfriend James are about to cross the Pacific Ocean- Costa Rica to Australia. We have just bought a sextant- by celestial navigation I am guessing that is the method you are referring to (but perhaps not). I have heard there is a bit of Math involved in the calculations- is it mainly trigonometry? Could someone give me an example of an equation one may use to calculate a position? Best Isabelle
Dagmar wrote on
19 February 2010 22:09:34Z
Hi, Me and my boyfriend James are about to cross the Pacific Ocean- Costa Rica to Australia. We have just bought a sextant- by celestial navigation I am guessing that is the method you are referring to (but perhaps not). I have heard there is a bit of Math involved in the calculations- is it mainly trigonometry? Could someone give me an example of an equation one may use to calculate a position? Best Isabelle
Pelorus Jack wrote on
23 September 2009 23:09:23Z
Greetings all. I just joined this group - just discovered sailblogs today. I teach celestial navigation at California Maritime Academy, where I work. We teach only the Pub 299 and ALmanac method because that is how the USCG tests on the subject. I wish we had time to delce deeper into the subject, but we don't. The cadets only get one semester of celestial.
Seahawk X wrote on
18 September 2009 14:08:21Z
Nice idea. Self taught the basics but decided to take formal training now. Am using the tables method (HO229). Did a sight three years ago from Norfolk to Bermuda and was amazed when the plot came to within 1nm of the GPS coordinate. Very exciting feeling. Plan to crew this fall from Norfolk to USVIs and hope to put into practice what I have learnt.
PamDemonium wrote on
08 August 2009 22:40:23Z
I have taken 2 courses in celestial navigation, one using the Nautical Almanac method, and the other using the "S tables". I much prefer the S tables, as it is so much easier. I take a sight every week or two so that I don't lose the skill.
Cygnus wrote on
04 April 2009 19:48:17Z
Since I created this group, let me introduce myself. My name is Gary Harkins. I teach celestial navigation for the United States Power Squadrons. I have used all of the popular sight reduction methods. My two favorite methods are "The Law of Cosines" method using a scientific calculator, and The "Nautical Almanac" method. I like the Law of Cosines method because it is, by far, the fastest method and it allows the plots to be done from your DR position. The Nautical Almanac method is like most other tabular methods in that it requires you to do the plot from an "assumed position." The advantage of the Nautical Almanac method is that it is printed in every Nautical Almanac which you must have anyway. Let's talk celestial navigation!!! I love the subject and we can all learn from each other.
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Cygnus
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