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    Learning Celestial
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2000 Nov 11, 7:03 PM

    Recently there have been some pretty fundamental questions asked on this
    list, like "how do I learn celestial?" and the definition/calculation of
    some basic quantities like zone time/GMT offset.
    As usual lots of folks volunteered lots of useful information such as good
    navigation texts.
    But one other source of learning about celestial wasn't mentioned:  the
    courses taught by the Power Squadron and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  I'm a
    20-year member of the Power Squadron and they have an excellent pair of
    celestial courses (more properly, offshore navigation courses, since
    offshore navigation encompasses more than just sight reduction).  I'm one
    of those types who learns much better in a classroom than by just reading a
    book.  Like most, I was blessed with excellent, knowledgable, patient
    instructors.  I'm now giving in return and teaching some of the courses.
    I would strongly urge the people asking these basic questions to consider
    joining their local Power Squadron or CG Aux.  Both organizations require
    passing a basic boating safety course as a condition for joining (both orgs
    accept the other's course); if you know the basics you don't have to sit
    through the course to take the final.  The Power Squadron has a series of
    four courses going from basic coastal navigation through advanced
    celestial.  It used to be that you had to take and pass each course before
    proceeding to the next but they just changed their policy so that you can
    take any course anytime but you just don't get "credit" for it until you've
    passed the predecessors.  If your coastal nav knowledge is good, you can
    certainly also challenge the course by simply by taking the final exam.
    If you prefer curling up with a good book, fine.  If you prefer someone
    sharing his or her knowledge with you, I urge you to look into these fine
    Lu Abel
    (Pwr Sqdn Past Commander and Senior Navigator)

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