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    Re: Varuna -- Abandoned due to Loss of Power
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2017 Sep 8, 17:14 +0000
    1.   How about a hand-held GPS sealed in a water-tight bag?  Cheaper, quicker and more accurate than a sextant.

    2.  As Bob points out, most massive electrical failures are due to water incursion into the boat (and before someone "corrects" me, yes, lighting strikes can be even worse).   What saves Nautical Almanacs, sight reduction tables, etc, etc, from being ruined by the same water incursion? 

    If I were going offshore, I'd certainly carry a sextant.   But that would be part of a larger package of considered and thought-out navigational backup choices.

    From: Bob Goethe <NoReply_Goethe@fer3.com>
    To: luabel@ymail.com
    Sent: Thursday, September 7, 2017 2:00 PM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Varuna -- Abandoned due to Loss of Power

    This is quite interesting, as it is the second yacht I have heard of in the last 3 months where "the boat got wet" heading into Gibraltar, and fried their electrical system.  The first one I heard of, however, had a sextant and a man aboard who could use it.  They needed thousands of dollars worth of repairs when they got there, but had no problem making landfall in Gibraltar.
    We have seen some debate from time to time in NavList about whether GPS could either become hugely inaccurate, be jammed/spoofed, the satellites shot down or be fried by solar activity.
    The truth is that there is this enormous infrastructure dedicated to keeping the GPS network functional.  But it is the easiest thing in the world to have a wave splash water down the companionway onto a nav station and short out the electronics.  Even in year 2017, the prudent small boat sailor should have celestial navigation in his skillset.
    I would give a nickle to know if he had paper charts of the coast of Spain aboard, or if he was doing all his navigating from a chartplotter.

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