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    Re: Nautical Almanacs
    From: Geoffrey Kolbe
    Date: 2015 May 28, 09:50 +0100

     In another time my emergency kit included my then 75 year old octant, the current Nautical Almanac, HO 208, my rated wrist watch, a Pilot Chart, notebook, and pencils  
     We have just gone through a lengthy discussion on emergency navigation and I thought this might be a useful addition thereto. 


    ​These days, the Emergency Kit would be much the same, but the rated wrist watch would be a quartz electronic watch whose battery would last ​many (between 5 and 10) years. The weakness in this Emergency Kit, then, is the 'current' Nautical Almanac. Chances are that you will forget to undertake the annual task of updating the almanac, and then the odds are that when the day comes you need it - the NA is no longer 'current'. It was with this in mind that I created the Long Term Almanac for Sun and Stars which is valid
    ​until 2050. In an Emergency situation, the sun and stars should be ample by way of celestial bodies to keep yourself found.​ 

    For a real minimalist Emergency Kit, I commend you (and everybody else) to look at the David Burch's 'Emergency Navigation Card' (published by StarPath Publications) which has a short almanac for Sun and Stars, which is remarkably accurate, and short sight reduction tables too. It takes a lot longer to work up a sight reduction, of course, due to the very abbreviated nature of the almanac and SR tables, but then if you are sitting in a lifeboat staring out at an empty ocean, time is one thing you will have in plenty!

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