A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
Re: Status of Celestial Nav in 2015
From: Tom Sult
Date: 2015 Mar 04, 15:53 -0600
Polar explorers still use CelNav often. It is my understanding that Will Steager uses it regularly (4th hand info). My friend once work for Evergreen a far north sled dog trekking company and he was required to learn CelNav to be a trip leader. The poor guy was subjected to me teaching him.
Tom Sult, MD
Author: JUST BE WELL
I would add remote wilderness travelers to the list of those that might find celestial navigation a useful back-up to GPS. A plastic sextant such as the Davis MK 3 wouldn't add much weight to the pack.
From: Bob Goethe
Date: 2015 Mar 4, 09:46 -0800
I am interested in getting a feel for whether anybody is using sextants for navigation other than a) prudent small boat sailors, and b) navigational hobbyists.
- Prudent small boat sailors are into redundant systems: emergency tillers in case the wheel-steering gear fails; hand bilge pumps in case the electrics fail; spare halyards in case an existing halyard parts. And of course, for these kind of sailors, celestial nav is THE redundant system of choice if electronic navigation goes down.
- Navigational hobbyists are not only using sextants, but buying 1977 editions of Bowditch from eBay because the current edition (though downloadable for free) is abbreviated in its treatment of sight reduction.
My impression is that there are various users-of-the-sea who may have to pass celestial nav exams (e.g. Coast Guard officers or some merchant mariners) at the beginning of certain career stages or to get licensed.
But are there any people in the wide world besides small boat sailors and navigation hobbyists who are taking as many as 3 celestial sights per month on a regular basis?
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