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    Re: Teaching seamanship
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2004 Oct 14, 16:19 EDT
    Derrrick Y wrote:
    "Is CN a good backup to GPS; is it a worth while study?  Each of us has our own answer.  For me, it is - because I never want to be in a situation where I lose all my electronics because of a short circuit in the battery compartment."

    Do you carry a handheld GPS unit as a backup? In an emergency kit? Regardless of one's enthusiasm for celestial navigation, if the concern is safety, a spare GPS receiver is likely to be far more valuable than a sextant.

    You mentioned Murphy (as in Murphy's Law). That "everything that can go wrong will go wrong" logic applies to cel nav every bit as much as it applies to GPS. A simple scenario: you are crossing the Atlantic and you're one day from Antigua. You're under a tropical depression. The sky is covered with clouds for hundreds of miles. And you're hit by lightning. None of this is exotic or low probability, right? Your main GPS system is now fried. The sky is overcast. You're heading for land. So you get out your sextant and...
    1) trade it for a $50 handheld GPS unit from a passing freighter.
    2) wait out the storm until you can take sights with it.
    3) toss it overboard as an offering to Neptune and sail on carefree.

    Frank R
    [ ] Mystic, Connecticut
    [X] Chicago, Illinois
       
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