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    Re: Celestial nav course for professional mariners
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2017 Apr 3, 07:14 -0700

    A course on celestial navigation is offered by MITAGS-PMI ... The 10-day class costs $2000.

    This is an exam prep course. You do not learn celestial navigation in classes like this. You pay to learn how to pass the USCG licensing exam. Very similar courses with the same duration and cost are offered by other maritime schools here in New England. The program is bizarre and shockingly antiquated. There are questions that apply to mechanical chronometers. Amusingly, it is possible to pass the exam (though just barely) without getting one single actual celestial fix problem correct. The test problems are all set in the year 1981, and a special edition of the Nautical Almanac exists for this purpose. I posted a cleaned-up pdf of this document back in December here. Zone time is a major focus of the exam. Although the exam is built on the assumption that Pub.229 is the only sight reduction system in existence, there are ways around this ridiculous pretense. Scientific calculators are allowed during the exam, and with careful interpretation of questions it's possible to avoid obsolete tables like 229.

    Frank Reed

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