Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: What do offshore recreational navigators really do?
    From: Joel Jacobs
    Date: 2005 Jun 6, 16:10 +0000
    I'm sure that the statistic you report might have some validity, for the yachties, but not to anyone who, after some practice, discovered that a round of star and planet sights were no big deal.
    It's been twenty years since I did any deep sea passagemaking, and we religously did morning and evening twilight sights, and filled the day in doing morning, noon and evening sun sights with the Moon or Venus thrown in when available.
    There is no subsitute for a FIX. And, it makes the navigators' day interesting.
    Anecdoately, I recall a passage from Jost Van Dyke to Bermuda one Spring in the early 1980's in which a long retired skipper of a WW II MSO accompanied us as Asst Nav. Wayland got a kick out of taking sights, what seemed, all day long. There was a long string of vessels making the same passage, and after our our arrival in Gegorgetown some came buy to see the new commerical Motorola 21402 SATNAV we had on board.
    Joel Jacobs
    Visit our website

    -------------- Original message from Lu Abel <lunav@ABELHOME.NET>: --------------

    > Henry Halboth noted the tradition of 0800, 1200 and 2000 position
    > reports to the captain of commercial and military ships, along with a
    > tradition of a noon sun shot. I'm 100 years ago one could also have
    > seen several sextants on the bridge wings of any such ship at dawn and
    > dusk, trying to bring down as many bodies as possible to get a perfect
    > "pinwheel" fix.
    > These navigators had an awesome responsibility of keeping safe a very
    > expensive ship with hundreds of people aboard, so I can certainly
    > understand their meticulous behavior. They were also navigating large
    > ships with long turning times and deep draft, so "whoops, there's a
    > hazard, hard alee" wasn't an option as it might be on a small! er
    > recreational craft
    > A year ago or so someone told me (and, unfortunately, I don't recall who
    > it was, so I can't go back for more details) that a recreational sailing
    > magazine had polled recreational sailors who had made long offshore
    > passages (including quite a few circumnavigators). Of those who
    > regularly used celestial, the vast majority reported that they simply
    > took morning, noon-ish, and afternoon sun shots and advanced the
    > resultant LOPs. No star shots, no fussing at dawn and dusk, just the
    > sun. While I didn't question my friend, I'd assume these folks might
    > also take daytime moon shots.
    > I suspect their theory was that in the middle of the ocean, knowing
    > position to a few dozen miles was more than enough. I also note that in
    > a bouncing small craft, taking a sight with any degree of accuracy is
    > extremely difficult.
    > > Comments? Especially from anyone on this list who has made long
    > offshore passages on a small craft?
    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site