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    What do offshore recreational navigators really do?
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2005 Jun 6, 08:18 -0700

    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 smaller
    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?
    
    
    

       
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