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    Re: USCGA celestial nav class
    From: Jim Dullea
    Date: 2003 Jan 29, 15:08 -0500

    On the topic I took the Starpath home version of celestial and thought it
    very well done.  For those not easily able to get to a power Squadron or ASA
    location StarPath will coordinate a proctored exam anywhere to achieve ASA
    celestial certification for those interested.
    Separate but related topic.  It seems that we are bound and determined to
    validate using celestial as the backup for GPS and/or LORAN etc following
    terrorist jamming, war, lightening strike, alien invasion, suspension of the
    laws of physics or some calamity... It always becomes a taste great less
    filling argument between the "modern" digital electronics supporters (I can
    buy 5 handheld battery GPS for the price of a sextant) and the "never met an
    electron I could trust in a jam" crowd.
    Maybe celestial isn't really a cost effective solution to any realistic
    casualty.  I suggest we are drawn to it for the simple elegance of using a
    finely crafted mechanical instrument to  do what seems
    mysterious...determine our position without outside help based on skill and
    practice, and to, in a small way retain contact with the rich history of
    navigation at sea. I have to admit when querried why I spend time on
    celestial I now simply say because it gives me great pleasure, a sense of
    accomplishment, and allows me to have a greater appreciation for the "art"
    of navigation. And if some day sitting in my darkened, powerless boat in the
    middle of the ocean it helps show the way home...well then I guess I'll just
    be amazed what an astute seaman I am.
    Jim Dullea
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Navigation Mailing List [mailto:NAVIGATION-L@LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM]
    On Behalf Of Cliff Sojourner
    Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 2:04 PM
    Subject: Re: USCGA celestial nav class
    the USCG Aux had long stopped giving the celnav class when I took their
    coastal nav class, in March 1991 according to my certificate on the wall...
    FWIW, in March 2001 I took the "Introduction to Celestial Navigation" class
    from Ocean Navigator School of Seamanship.  instructor (Andy Howe) was
    excellent, materials were good for both teaching and reference, and lately
    the occasional refresher.  and the catering from Greens Restaurant in San
    Francisco was excellent!
    these are the good old days
    Cliff Sojourner          cls@employees.org
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "George Istok" 
    Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 02:40
    Subject: Re: Hello from new member
    > For what it is worth, it seems that the Coast Guard and the Auxillary no
    > longer have a course in celestial navigation.  Granted it is old
    > but someone needs to know how to get home when the GPS quits working.
    > George Istok
    > -----Original Message-----
    > On Behalf Of Smith_Peter@EMC.COM
    > Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 10:22 AM
    > It's clear that traditional surveying and navigation have much in
    > common: trigonometry, interesting instruments, being steamrolled
    > by GPS.

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