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    Learning Celestial
    From: Joe Kliment
    Date: 2000 Nov 12, 10:36 AM

    I'd like to endorse Lu Abel's recommendation of the Power Squadron
    for learning celestial.
    As a long time member of USPS, I believe that the Squadron
    provides the best course sequence for learning navigation.
    The courses are intense and provide the basic building blocks
    to achieve the ultimate Navigation grade.
    As a professional captain, I continually apply the knowledge
    gained from these courses for both blue water deliveries and
    sailing instruction with ASA.
    The Squadron education program is based on volunteer teachers for
    all of their courses, thus providing an opportunity for members to
    give back something for the education benefits they derived.
    I have compared the celestial courses provided by USPS (Junior
    Navigation/Navigation) to others currently available.
    The American Sailing Association (ASA) provides a Coastal Navigation
    Standard course which is equivalent to the USPS Advanced Piloting course.
    This course is a prerequisite to their Celestial Navigation Standard.
    Each course is taught over a four day period requiring intensive study.
    The ASA celestial course is based on NO. 229/249.
    In comparison, USPS courses meet for ~12 weekly sessions, providing a
    more gradual and thorough review of the subject.
    The Squadron celestial courses are based on the Nautical Almanac Sight
    Reduction method (NASR) with the alternate cosines method for quick sight
    ASA provides excellent practical experience for celestial in their
    Offshore Passagemaking Standard which is an offshore passage requiring
    celestial navigation as the primary navigation mode.
    Students generally lack the practical aspects of celestial such as sight
    planning, sextant use, and taking sights from a moving platform.
    Courses such as the ASA OPS meet this need.
    Another approach to learning celestial is through private organizations
    such as Ocean Navigator.  Generally these seminars are based on the
    Celesticomp V navigation calculator for sight reduction.
    Choosing between these alternatives would depend upon how much time and
    money you are willing to spend to achieve a working knowledge of celestial.
    Capt Joe Kliment
    ASA Instructor
    The Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship

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