A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2017 Jan 5, 15:28 -0800
Last night driving back from the river cruiser it was really clear. The Moon and Venus, encouraged by Mars, were almost beckoning to me, but by the time I got home I was too whacked to do anything about it. It’s clear outside at the moment, so fingers crossed for twilight. I could get Moon – Venus with the Hughes Mate’s, the Moon with the Kollsman from the astrovan, and Venus with the Smith’s, if there’s room for my head and I can rig up a battery. If not, it’s the Kollsman. I’ll have to rely on ‘Navigator’ for the calcs, but one day ………. . Last time I managed to prove UTC was in error by eight minutes, so looking forward for an improvement tonight. DaveP
Well I got there in the end tonight, but there were a lot of teething troubles, and I need a lot more practice, especially at holding the Hughes in funny positions for long periods. This time UTC was only 6minutes 10 seconds out so it’s improving. I got a 3v battery laid on for the Smiths OK. I picked my Mk2C with a swivel eyepiece to give me a bit more room in the bathroom. I’ve never had power on it before, and I must say it’s beautiful. Then things started going downhill. First, the plastic soup plates I’d placed over the hatches to protect them from rain were frozen to the astrovan roof. Inside the astrovan there were puddles despite hardly any rainfall. I’m going to have to make much better hatches to keep the water out. Then I couldn’t get power to the 3V Kollsman. It transpired that one of the three D batteries had been sick inside the Ever Ready torch attachment. By the time I’d got that cleaned up and working, there was a thin layer of cirrostratus and a halo moon & Venus. However I managed to get one set of readings.
1805UTC Moon – Venus 41°.30’.50” Hughes Mates 3 Circle Sextant No 25410 Claimed arc error 0 Index error 0
1806UTC Moon 38°.26’.0 Kollsman 3V Periscopic Sextant Type A28450-00-002 No20026 Calibration not available.
1806.5UTC Venus 16°.12’.1/4’ Correction on 10 mark -1/4’ Ho 16°.12.0 Smiths Mk2C Pendulous Reference Periscopic Sextant Ref 6B/6200909 No148KHI/73
Timing error according to ‘Navigator’: 6min 10 seconds which would lead to longitude error of 1 32’. I hope DavidC you managed to do a bit better than this.
My main difficulty was bringing Venus up to the Moon. Even with a couple of shades in, with the 2.5x telescope, when I eventually got it there, I lost Venus in the glare around the edge of the Moon. Also, my arm got very tired; I need to toughen up. I could see the surface of the moon better with the 5x inverting telescope, but they were designed for someone with better coordination than me; everything happens back to front; and by that time Venus had disappeared behind the trees in any case. DaveP