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    Re: Thoughts on Celestial.
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2012 Nov 1, 15:47 -0700

    Hi Alan

    It was kind of you to mention me in your list but ....

    Just to be clear, I am a student too!  Please don't include me with the luminaries, I'm just not in their league. 


    On Nov 1, 2012 5:26 PM, "Alan S" <alan202@verizon.net> wrote:

    Re the ongoing discussion of Celestial Navigation, might a "landlocked navigator", one who as Mr.Gilbert might have noted "stuck close to his desk, and never went to sea" add his own thoughts? It is, by the way, quite interesting to read the thoughts of people who know what they are talking about, Chief Franklin, Lu Abel, Greg Rudzinski, Brad Morris et al.

    Speaking for myself, I tend to stand on the beach, when I can get to one, shooting such "celestial bodies" as might pass within view, most often AM and PM sun, sometimes sun and moon, and rarely planets and stars. I get my DR position from a hand held GPS, which I guess is usually within 10' of where I actually am. I have a decent sextant, and Astra 111B, so I assume any screw-ups, there are some beauts, derive from operator error. When I use the sextant properly, and do not misread the NA or transpose numbers, my calculated fixes are often inside 5 NM of GPS coordinates, unfortunately not always, there is that ever present "operator error".

    In any case, respecting open ocean or high seas celestial navigation, based on what I've read, I would think that fixes obtained from sextant shots that were within 5 NM of actual position, consistently within, would be more than adequate as a practical matter. Concerning navigation within sight of land (piloting) the story would be or could be markedly different, but out to sea, it's a very large ocean, with a lot of distance between continents and islands, there being few ships floating around thereon. As to whether one's fix is inside or outside the cocked hat, re navigating on the high seas, I suppose that beating the proverbial dead horse is one of several ways of passing the time.

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