A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding
Re: Marion-Bermuda Race 2019
From: Brad Morris
Date: 2018 Nov 29, 12:35 -0500
The number one problem I see is that old petard: CN is a backup to multiple, waterproof handheld GPS receivers. They offer the case that the mast is snapped, the boat swamped and the electronics ruined. That person is then going to whip out their sextant and "navigate" that hulk to port. Er, no. That boat isn't going anywhere, except down or drift. Far better to consider deploying your PLB/EPIRB.
A much more minor issue is under the heading Getting Started. The learner is advised to get a sextant and shoot noon latitude. The problem I see is there is no guidance on how to reduce the observation into latitude. It isn't magic, but the beginner will be lost in an "ocean of corrections", like Index Error. Nor which sextant to buy, like not a pretty ebay replica. Nor how to adjust it. Nor how to swing it. Etc, etc, etc.
Who's this Marion person, and why does she have her name on the Bermuda Race?! (yes, I have heard people ask that).
Heh. Marion is a town in Massachusetts on Buzzard Bay about nine miles east of New Bedford near the southern end of the Cape Cod Canal. Marion, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island host the annual race to Bermuda in alternate years. It's Marion's turn in 2019. The Marion-Bermuda Race famously includes a celestial handicap division. That is, if you navigate using celestial navigation (honors system and not required within 50 miles of land at either end) you get some time knocked off your total sailing time at the end of the race.
Here's a link to an article about celestial navigation for this year's Marion-Bermuda Race:
Can you see any problems? Can you suggest any edits? Perhaps NavList, as a community, could forward some suggestions to the race managers.
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