A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Byron Franklin
Date: 2013 Feb 22, 18:39 -0800
• Byron: Jeremy Allen Navigation on ” face book and Navlist”
“I got me 2 new cadets :-) They are either going to love celnav or hate it when I am through with them. In either case, they will be well learned in the art.” Byron: Well stated! Jeremy!
Byron: I have many thoughts and past experience on teaching Navigation. I joined the navy in 1948 after high school, and a few years working at various jobs. I was on the deck force working as a deck hand for two years and then to the bridge as a Quartermaster striker. I was on a very a junior ocean going ships, with very junior Navigator’s, so had to hit the books for my deep sea knowledge. My high school education was poor and my instructors were not knowledgeable, but I like science.
To my Navigation’s plus, was the amount of time spent at sea, for 9 years (1948…) the ship-type had first place for long underway time at sea, for US naval ships. This ship with a old bad gyro is why I developed the “Franklin Piloting Technique. My next sea experience was on sophisticated submarines, the
SSBN A. Lincoln.1963 to 65, This new Polaris sub needed qualified Navigation QM rate personnel, I volunteered and, after attending inertial Navigation School, I reported aboard as a chief and senior QM and earn my dolphins in record time.. After a few years the sub was to go to the yards for repair. I was overdue for shore duty and was transferred to Officers Candidate School “OCS.” in Newport RI.1966-69 I was to teach Navigation, including celestial and piloting,I stayed an extra year because I also taught "How to teach" to the new instructors, using class-room and underway small craft for training.
When I first started at OCS the Comanding Officer had sent a request to his seniors requesting that only officer were to teach these smart college graduates “OCS.” The CO’S request was soon evaluated by many educators and senior officers. After a few weeks the evaluation was completed. The decision was that the chiefs were to be kept especially in Navigation. The OCS students that were taught by QM’s had better average grades and students made comments like “I can read,” I don’t need someone to read for me.” The chief’s appearance, background, credibility and sea stories were a plus. Later at OCS, I was selected to teach Radar and then I was selected to teach “how to teach.” To new incoming instructors.
While teaching navigation at OCS, a senior QM stated to me, that he did not like teaching three point lines of bearings intersecting fixes in the class-room, then, taking the OC class on small craft (YP’S) with bad gyro’s that caused plotting large triangles on the chart. This was bad for the credibility of the instructor and demotivator for the student. I quickly taught him my piloting technique; he was soon at sea with his students. The QMC came back to the class and cited that his student using my technique could solve compass error for themselves and they got that text book fix and were excited about their own experience and accomplishments. The QM talked me into putting the technique on paper and sending it to the Hydrographic Office. Mr. Brown at HO. evaluated it and placed it in the next Bowditch (1977.)I was presented a new Bowditch with my name on the cover. Soon after, Annapolis, MD and OCS, Newport was teaching my technique.
An evaluation of FPT at OCS. Newport stated “the students were taught the “Franklin Piloting Technique” and were able to find and correct the compass error them-selves.”
So what is the message from the background above? The Instructor needs to be knowledgeable and creditable to breed confidence in to the novice. The novice needs to be motivated and please, by getting good results (fixes) from the start.
I say he should start simple navigation by learning piloting with compass and sextant and FPT on the chart. He/she will get that good dependable fix, and completely understand how to plot, oppose to jumping into CELNAV and fear of not being able to get a fix. After the piloting raises understanding,
then, CELNAV, and its form and chart work. Previous piloting fixing will give motivate, confidence and self-desire to spend necessary time for Celestial and love of Navigation now and in the future.
I have experience this idea, one of my tasks underway was to do a day’s Navigation with Officers that were already schooled in Navigation. Most of them tried to get out of the day’s work because of past problems of no Celnav fix or bad fixes. Much of their trouble was fear of their past, bad fixes and not spending the time to improve, so why try. Going to all the schools and reading the text will not make the Navigator, School and text can lead the way. Getting good fixes from the start, motivation, time spent, and desire are the key to Navigation. A good start is to ensure motivation, by ensuring simple easy, good fixes from the start.
NavList message boards and member settings: www.fer3.com/NavList
Members may optionally receive posts by email.
To cancel email delivery, send a message to NoMail[at]fer3.com