A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Peter Dijkstra
Date: 2015 Aug 26, 14:43 -0700
Being relatively new to this group I thought a small introduction may be appropriate.
I am a Dutch airline pilot (MD11) with the intention to do a circumnavigation when I retire on a 48’ sailboat I am currently building at home.
Though I was pretty good at math at high school, spherical geometry has never been one of my strong sides.. I sort of know how it works but as soon as things other than sin, cos and tan appear I’m getting lost quickly. I get the principle of celestial navigation but it sort of stops there, though I’m keen to improve my knowledge in area :-)
The recent discussion about Doniol calculations has drawn my interest as an alternative to the Reeds Almanac method I am now trying to learn to reduce sight taken on my sextant.
My aim is to have a workable alternative to all the electronics that surely will make it onto my boat, in addition to a serious computer (I’m currently thinking Mac Pro) that will run most of the ships systems.
I really like the idea of being able to bypass or disable all automatic systems and go back to manual operation.
Navigation has always interested me. Last year I finally found a reasonably priced Freiberger sextant and bought a Reeds Almanac. So far I have only reduces sun sights but found that I am making a lot of errors reading/interpreting the tables. I get the impression that the Doniol method is less error prone than the Reeds method.
On my boat I intend to include in a (small) binder like a Quick Reference Handbook, on A5 or one-half letter-sized (5.5” x 8”) paper, like I have on my planes. It would include some other emergency related information like the location of seacocks and VHF/DSC communication templates for my fellow shipmates that may not exactly what these procedures are..
I am looking for a reduction method with tables that is relatively simple that will fit on a this size paper, if I could add a nautical almanac in that size for a certain trip would be a bonus ;-)
Any suggestions on how to make this happen?