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    Self Taught Celestial
    From: Paul Fithian
    Date: 2013 Feb 27, 10:11 -0800

    I have recently become interested in learning celestial navigation after visiting the Celestaire booth at the Chicago Strictly Sail in January.

    While in the process of looking at various internet sites, my lovely wife determined that I needed a sextant, and gave me a Davis Mark 15 for Valentine's Day. Great first mate!

    Of all of the documentation I've reviewed, Rodger Farley's "Celestial Navigation in a Teacup" has helped me more than any of the others. Here's a link to it: http://mysite.verizon.net/milkyway99/id1.html The online Celestial Navigation Course is also an excellent reference, particularly the exercises for practice: http://celestial-navigation-course.com/start_course.php

    After some further research, I have acquired Kolbe's "Long Term Almanac 2000 - 2050", Burch's "How to Use Plastic Sextants", and the iPhone apps Sight Calc and Timestamp. I've also acquired some plotting sheets, a course plotter, parallel rules, and a Davis Artificial Horizon.

    By learning celestial with Kolbe's reference, it has allowed me use one small reference as a stand alone tool for sight reductions without the need for any electricity. Along with a good watch (Casio Wave Ceptor atomic), I should be self sufficient and determine my position.

    I have now advanced to the point of being able to take a sight, look up the GHA in Kolbe's Almanac, and reduce the sight to obtain Zn and Hc. I have also learned how to plot these lines of position to determine where I am. I am continuing to practice and look forward to trying this out on Lake Michigan after it thaws.

    Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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