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    Some sailing tales.
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2004 Oct 21, 00:08 -0400

    On Oct 20, 2004, at 6:19 PM, Royer, Doug wrote:
    > A few comments and questions.
    > Fred,
    > I'm glad to hear you did some sights from a moving vessel.I've been
    > following your reports of the sights you take from dry land for some
    > time.You do seem to "have it down" in the care you take and the
    > accuracy you
    > achive of those reductions.But it is a totally differant animal,a
    > totally
    > differant game,while taking cuts from a vessel or moving
    > object.Especially
    > on a small moving object.
    > Did you average a number of altitudes/times on each of your sight
    > sessions
    > on board when you got 9.0 to 12.0 min of arc differance or just take 1
    > cut
    > each session?
    > Even so they're not all that bad a result in the real world if you've
    > not
    > had much experiance doing it in that environment.
    Even more important than getting some sights from a vessel, I was ON
    the vessel!  All this dry land stuff is just to substitute for the lack
    of being on a vessel, or maybe to prepare for getting out on blue water
    one day.
    I agree that taking sights is much tougher underway.
    I got two or three cuts for each session.  We were out for a week, and
    I had hoped to get more sights, but there were only three of us, and we
    spent a good bit of effort dodging lobster pots, not to mention getting
    into a position where dip short wasn't needed.   Also, learning how to
    use a chart plotter took some time.
    Chart plotters are nice, but we had a fixed one facing the helm, which
    was a big wheel.  In fog, the helmsman was busy dodging lobster pots
    and talking to the bow lookout, and it was a real pain peering over the
    helmsman's shoulder at the display and reaching around to tweak it,
    then walking around to check the chart and plot the next course.  Even
    in clear weather, studying a new piece of electronic gear and manning
    the helm of a sailing vessel are not very compatible activities.  For
    close in coastal work, a movable display in the cockpit would be very
    handy.  Huddling down in the cabin at a nav station isn't practical in
    tight waters.
    I'm not sure that just a chart and compass aren't less stressful than
    this newfangled gear, but one does know where one is with an extremely
    high degree of confidence with the chart plotter.  I never did learn
    how to get the chart plotter to spit out a course to the next mark,
    correcting for set, etc, but just used a set of parallels and guessed
    at set; that's one thing lobster pots are good for.
    The sox won.

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