A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Lu Abel
Date: 2013 Apr 04, 08:14 -0700
You codify in a single sentence something I know instinctively but hadn't really thought about -- there are two distinct parts to celestial navigation. One is taking sights and handling a sextant. The other is sight reduction. If I don't do the first part correctly, it doesn't matter what sight reduction method I use, my LOP will be off, perhaps to the point of uselessness.
"6. Computer/Phone app - seems to me you might as well just use a GPS. However, they are quite handy when you don't have anything else."
Also, software and "apps" are good sight-training tools. Many students of navigation would like some instant feedback. Take a sight, tap a few keys (or a touch screen) and five seconds later you know how you're doing.
When I check sights I first use the Naval Observatory's site -- just plug in L/Lo and time and you've got Hc for every visible body. See if student's Ho (and Hc, for that matter) are close. But my "aha" from your post is that next time I take some newbies out to learn how to take sights I'm going to take an iPad and access the NO site. What a great way to provide instantaneous feedback to the person about the quality of their sight!