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    Sextants on current UK warship - a rambling story
    From: Michael Bradley
    Date: 2019 Nov 11, 16:11 -0800

    I've tonight watched a streaming of a documentary series repeat that's been running on  BBC, following the trials and work up exercises of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new UK aircraft carrier with its F35-Bs. The series is grandly called 'Britain's Biggest Warship'. The episode 'Ahoy, Manhattan' has the sextants out from about 18'50". First the Captain makes the case for Astro with a sextant in his hand,  then shortly after, apparently on the wing of the bridge, there's a shot of some junior officers under instruction.

    I've a personal interest in the sextants shown, because I have one such myself. A chance to shout "That's my sextant" at the TV....

    It's a Cassens and Plath, badge engineered by local  marine instrument firm Lilley and Gillie. I went a visit to Lilley and Gillie, and checked out the pedigree. The sextant has an odd fit out, specified by the the UK Ministry of Defence, I understand. The batch all had a (Cheapo?) Celestron x6 porro prism telescope, fitted with the standard mounting fork, and a full view horizon mirror. You can see the fat Celestron telescope clearly in the video. Mine came via military surplus, in a tough case, with the stores paperwork giving the name of the officer who had been issued with it. It had only one indentation on the internal foam of the tough case lid, indicating it having  been used very little before I bought it. I use it generally with  a x3.5 telescope and a split horizon mirror. I bought it on Ebay a few years ago, then got an additional nice thing with it, the then MD of Lilley and Gillie had signed the sextant handbook, and he's a sailing friend out of my club, good old Royal Northumberland YC.

    A few moments of fame ( by association ). Good, eh? 

    Michael Bradley  55 North

       
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