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    Re: sextant without paper charts
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2008 Oct 30, 04:33 -0400

    Lu Abel wrote:
    
    > I guess I have to wonder why anyone would use HO229 these days when for about
    > $15 you can buy a solar powered scientific calculator (so no batteries to go
    > bad, mine claims it will work if there's enough light for me to see the
    > display) and therefore not have to go through the error-prone task of a HO229
    > sight reduction when one can just solve the celestial triangle directly with a
    > calculator.
    
    I can only speak personally.
    
    For me it was a starting point (I recall you were on the list during my
    cardboard-sextant days) when the idea of doing spherical trig was beyond my
    imagination. Doing it the harder way was a great learning experience, and
    viewing the numbers laid out in front of me I was able to see a pattern
    emerge that transformed the usual plug-and-chug spherical-trig equations
    from magic to tools.
    
    Another feel good is why we do cel nav at all, and why some on the list
    focus on the history.  It is fun. It is a connection to the old ways and the
    universe. If you are really using cel nav to get around, why stop with a
    pocket calculator?  Go whole hog and get a dedicated unit. A sextant and a
    couple of digital watches and you are good to go. Electronics never fail.
    
    But you know all of that ;-)
    
    On the other hand, if you have a watch or two, a sextant, an NA and a globe
    you are good anywhere.
    
    If my hobby is ever reduced to driving a twin-engine, twin-screw boat by
    electronics on the Great Lakes I will give up boating.
    
    Bill B.
    
    
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