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    Re: Davis Mk3 dazzling
    From: Bruce J. Pennino
    Date: 2017 Oct 26, 09:37 -0400
    The sextant shadow on the shirt is a great idea.  Thank you.  I sometimes try to move so that I can align the sun over some nearby or distant easily identified point and aim the sight at the point and move the index arm until the sun appears on the horizon. But, my sights  suffer from not holding the sextant perpendicular to the horizon. No matter how often I tell myself rotate arm! Rotate arm! Further adjustment is always necessary prior to completing the sight. “Like they say”, PRACTICE!
    Looking forward to Conference. Any favorite B&B or motel?
    From: Frank Reed
    Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 10:58 PM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Davis Mk3 dazzling

    In your original post, you wrote:
    "Seems there no strong enough horizon filter to prevent dazzling from inadvertant Sun view. Should I add one or am I using incorrectly?"

    I am worried that you may be a victim of some of the entropy that has crept into celestial navigation in recent decades. You say that you don't have strong enough horizon filters. But you can use a sextant just fine that has no horizon filters at all ...unless you follow a procedure regrettably advocated by certain navigation instructors where you start out by aiming the sextant right at the Sun and then "drag" it down to the horizon by a steady rotation of the index arm opposite the rotation of the instrument. This technique is totally un-necessary, but it makes some navigators feel skillful, and they insist on peddling this pointlessly tricky methodology to beginners. If you're doing that, stop now.

    Use your sextant by pre-setting to an approximate altitude of the Sun. You can get this by manual calculation, by software app, by experience, or by measuring with your hand using some simple tool (like a kamal) held at arm's length. For a quick calculation, this week at high noon, the altitude of the Sun is about 77.5°-latitude (in the northern hemisphere). For a "quickie kamal", a common index card, held long axis vertical, subtends about 11° when held at (adult average) arm's length. So if you count off three and a half index cards between the horizon and the Sun, then the approximate altitude is around 38°. Even sextants with telescopes have fields of view of several degrees width, so if you preset to 38° and the actual altitude is, let's say, 41° 36', you will still find the Sun in your field of view with barely any searching. So you use the sextant, not by pointing the horizon view at the Sun, but by pointing the horizon view where it belongs --at the horizon. With the approximate altitude preset, a little scanning left and right will quickly pick up the Sun and then you adjust for the correct altitude. Also, if you want to get it done even faster, you can line up the azimuth to the Sun by looking at the sextant's shadow on your shirt. The sextant's flat frame will cast a narrow "line-like" shadow when you have the right azimuth. Then just bring it up to your eye, and usually you'll have the Sun right in the field of view. All that "dragging" and counter-rotating is for showoffs... it's not practical navigation.

    Frank Reed

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