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    Hi there!
    From: Magnus Sjoquist
    Date: 2011 Feb 25, 03:56 -0800

    Dear All Navlisters,
    Just joined the List a few weeks ago. Highly appreciate taking (passive) part of very interesting discussions re Lunars, sextants etc (recent lessons in Latin interesting and amusing, although high above my horizon). Thank You, everybody!

    I retired from active service (35 years at sea topped off with 11 years as senior lecturer Nautical Science) one month ago. During the salty days and also during my time at Kalmar Maritime Academy (Sweden) one of my favorite interests was (and is) Astronav. Came across this discussion group Googling for lunar distances.

    Discovered that there is still a lot of knowledge alive in the market of Astronav , which makes me confident that I am not part of a museum, but one in a group that understand that knowing how to find your position is a fundamental part in the Art of Navigation. Regardless of how.

    Even if some methods may take some hours to learn and a lot of hours of practice before you have confidence in them. When in deep mud it is not sufficient that you know how to shoot a sight, you must also have the courage to rely on it.

    Modern methods of the same task, from Radio Direction Finding, Loran, Decca and satellite systems have increased the safety at sea tremendously. Many younger navigators tend to have an over-reliance on electronics. In particular, since the satnavsystems have come into use, the basic methods are losing ground at schools and – which is worse – also at sea. The FSN’s (Flat Screen Navigators) are in majority. Many older navigators are over-skeptic on electronics and seem very unwilling to learn how to take out the most of the modernities. This could lead to a few new discussions, but they would be out of the scope of this list (?).

    One Rule remains unchanged: Good seamanship requires the Navigator to use as many independent methods as there are at hand ,to navigate her/his vessel.
    Apart from being Law, this is common sense.

    Thanking you for your attention.

    Best –
    Magnus Sjoquist
    N 58-20,2 / E 015-43,6

    PS: Ref “sounding sextants”: It takes some practice, but is not too difficult to use a marine sextant for horizontal angles. In most cases and in normal ship-navigation, it is quite sufficient to measure angles with the same device as you take optical bearings. But I agree – it is not as fun! DS.

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