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Navigational Star Chart- ...
Forum: Navigational Star Chart- how to use it for star identification
Last Post: Rumata
12-31-2017, 08:54 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 104
Just trying to be nice
Forum: General Topics Here
Last Post: BigBill
12-24-2017, 03:23 PM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 410
2018- Everything you need
Forum: 2018- Everything you need
Last Post: BigBill
12-15-2017, 02:57 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 121
A,B, P etc
Forum: General Topics Here
Last Post: Rumata
11-16-2017, 04:42 AM
» Replies: 5
» Views: 1,087
Analog or Digital time di...
Forum: General Topics Here
Last Post: BigBill
10-27-2017, 06:27 PM
» Replies: 2
» Views: 910
Desperate Voyage
Forum: General Topics Here
Last Post: Rumata
10-17-2017, 01:21 AM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 483
Volvo Ocean race- cel nav...
Forum: General Topics Here
Last Post: Rumata
10-16-2017, 12:38 AM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 202
No GPS? Follow the North...
Forum: General Topics Here
Last Post: CarlosPindle
10-06-2017, 11:31 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 216
book- Two Years Before th...
Forum: General Topics Here
Last Post: Rumata
10-06-2017, 03:03 AM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 364
Astron Excel sight reduct...
Forum: The Sight Reduction process
Last Post: EdCa
10-04-2017, 10:22 PM
» Replies: 6
» Views: 468

  Navigational Star Chart- how to use it for star identification
Posted by: CelNav57 - 12-23-2017, 01:01 AM - Forum: Navigational Star Chart- how to use it for star identification - Replies (1)

I've just written up a procedure for finding which stars will be on your meridian, generally, on the first day of each month of the year at 7PM Local Standard Time.

It uses the USNO's Navigational Star Chart which, if you study it for a while, is full of helpful information.

You can get it here- Navigational Star Chart- how to use it for star identification

'Hope it's beneficial to you.

Following seas,

Johannes H.

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  Just trying to be nice
Posted by: Rumata - 12-22-2017, 07:14 PM - Forum: General Topics Here - Replies (3)

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all of us. Looks like we're still holding the fort.  Good job we're doing.


To all of us, members of Celestial Navigation Forum.  May we keep sanity in the world which can't live without extra battery. Let's drink!

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  2018- Everything you need
Posted by: CelNav57 - 12-13-2017, 03:37 AM - Forum: 2018- Everything you need - Replies (1)

I've just added a new page where you can get everything you need for 2018 Celestial Navigation.

Click here- 2018- Everything you need for Celestial Navigation

2018 Nautical Almanac- regular format
2018 Nautical Almanac- compact format

2018 Sun only- regular format
2018 Sun only- compact format

Sight reduction
PUB. NO. 249 (download individual Latitudes or Volumes) (Vol 1 courtesy of Celestaire)
PUB. NO. 229 (download individual volumes)


2018 Stars- SHA & Declination

Increments & Corrections Table (yellow pages)
Increments & Corrections Sun only on 2 pages

Altitude Correction Tables for the Moon
Polaris- Correction for (Q)

Conversion of Arc to Time
The Sun 2018- Equation of Time and Declination
Table 5- Correction to Tabulated Altitude for Minutes of Declination

Astronomical Phenomena

ECLIPSES- 2018 pages 64-77





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  A,B, P etc
Posted by: BigBill - 11-12-2017, 04:35 PM - Forum: General Topics Here - Replies (5)

Does anyone know or have a link that explains what exactly the values for A,B, F, P etc represent in a sight reduction?

 I was asked recently and I know anything with H has to do with altitudes and the Zs are azimuths but the rest I don't know with enough certainty to pass on.


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  Analog or Digital time display
Posted by: LouisC - 10-21-2017, 01:13 AM - Forum: General Topics Here - Replies (2)

Do you have a preference for time display? 

Which do you like better?  Analog or digital?

Do any of you use mechanical watches (not quartz)?  Now wouldn't it just be nice to have a Rolex GMT Master?!

In desperation I've searched the web to hear the sound of a Rolex or Piaget ticking but haven't found anything!


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  Desperate Voyage
Posted by: CelNav57 - 10-15-2017, 02:20 AM - Forum: General Topics Here - Replies (3)

At Rumata's suggestion I purchased and received, today, a copy of John Caldwell's book, "Desperate Voyage".  The book came autographed by John Caldwell himself!  All for $3.85 from ebay!  In brief the book covers his 1946 solo sail from Panama to Australia.  He got wrecked on islands East of Fiji and is carried by ship to Australia.

The story he tells of his trip is nothing but disaster after disaster.  He didn't even know how to sail when leaving Panama and what happens to him along the way is evidence of that.  It would be difficult for me to describe the troubles he got himself into or that they even happened. 

He taught himself navigation while underway.  Here are a few words from the chapter entitled "Malpelo Isle". 

If you will navigate, take what is listed here and sail away.  When, after ten days of study and stars, you can't fix your position, turn back and take up harbor sailing, for you will never navigate.  Any sensible person who can see the sun or horizon plainly can use these tools to go around the world".

Mr. Caldwell's total navigational instrument cost was $8.90.  The sextant was given to him by a sea captain.

In keeping with my interest in boat names and how well things go for the captains of oddly named boats Caldwell's story is no different.  I'm not superstitious except about boat names.  Don't name your boat anything that challenges or affronts The Great Commodore of the Universe.  Here are some famous boat names and what happened to them;

Titanic.  Titanic is ancient Chaldean for....satanic.
Endurance.  (Shackleton's ship).  Crushed by ice and sunk.
HMS Terror (Franklin's ship) Sunk in the Arctic.  Crew- all died through starvation on land.

So what has that to do with the book Desperate Voyage?  It's this- Caldwell's boat is named- Pagan.  His boat was wrecked and smashed to pieces on an island near Fiji. 

But he alone has survived to tell thee.

It's a very interesting and exciting book so far.

Fair winds....


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  Volvo Ocean race- cel nav?
Posted by: P.Rutherford - 10-14-2017, 12:27 AM - Forum: General Topics Here - Replies (1)

I was just watching a video about the Volvo ocean race 2014-15 and at this link;


...it shows a sailor using a sextant.  I do not know what year they show in that excerpt of the video, as the sound is off (intentionally).  Nice to look at.


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  No GPS? Follow the North star! (poor people)
Posted by: CarlosPindle - 10-06-2017, 11:31 PM - Forum: General Topics Here - No Replies

I happened upon a website which is by an artist, Sam Kerson who is a creator of the arts and is presently, with his wife, in Italy observing the refugee influx from various impoverished and torn-by-war countries.

While in Italy He spoke to a man from Gambia who sought work in Libya but ended up for many months in a Libyan prison.  Finally, the man was released.  Here are the words he spoke to Mr. Kerson about his (the Gambian man held in a Libyan prison) exodus from Libya-

We press on, “but how did you get to Europe?”  “After nine months they come and say, you go now! They have AKs’; they drive us at gun point to the beach and load us in a fiberglass boat.”

All the prisoners are asking, “Where do we go?”
You go out to sea! Who cares? You live you die. We need the space.”
But we have no GPS”, the guard points with his AK and says, “Follow the north star.”

The boat they were in ran out of fuel.  As it turns out they were rescued by a ship off the coast.

Certainly a horrible story but I'm showing this as a contrast in navigational styles.  The next area North of Libya is Italy or Greece- both at quite a distance.  Following the North star would lead them directly North (true).  Now that's a quick course in celestial navigation...at gun point.

Poor folks.

Here's Mr.Kerson's website- Dragon Dance Theatre

Clear skies,


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  Astron Excel sight reduction manual almanac
Posted by: Rumata - 10-01-2017, 07:03 AM - Forum: The Sight Reduction process - Replies (6)


I just tried to use Sight reduction Astron spreadsheet / manual option and can't locate Altitude correction for Sextant sight.  Also, Index error shows only minus option. But if it is (-) should I add it instead of subtracting it from Hs? . When I entered the Height of eyes in meters the spreadsheet calc simply subtracted this number from Hs, not the data I saw in Nautical Almanac ( hard copy).  Anyway, I got a little bit different results for azimuth and intercept.

My question is: should I blindly trust the spreadsheet or paper/pencil approach? Yes it is much faster.

Again, difference about  +/- 1.5 deg. in azimuth and tolerable in the intercept results. Thank you.

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  book- Two Years Before the Mast
Posted by: CelNav57 - 09-26-2017, 12:39 AM - Forum: General Topics Here - Replies (3)

Rumata has recommended a very good book- Two Years Before the Mast.

Get it here, free;

Two Years Before the Mast

It was written by Richard Henry Dana in the early 1800's and mainly describes the life and times of American merchant sailors, as Dana experienced it, aboard ship(s) trading in California.  The book provides a very thorough picture of the trip Dana took aboard Pilgrim to California and his trip back to Boston aboard Alert.

Here's excerpt from the homeward bound portion of the book from California back to Boston;

Sunday, June 5th, we were in lat. 19° 29' S., and lon. 118° 01' W., having made twelve hundred miles in seven days, very nearly upon a taut bowline. Our good ship was getting to be herself again, and had increased her rate of sailing more than one third since leaving San Diego. The crew ceased complaining of her, and the officers hove the log every two hours with evident satisfaction. This was glorious sailing. A steady breeze; the light tradewind clouds over our heads; the incomparable temperature of the Pacific,— neither hot nor cold; a clear sun every day, and clear moon and stars every night, and new constellations rising in the south, and the familiar ones sinking in the north, as we went on our course,— ``stemming nightly toward the pole.'' Already we had sunk the North Star and the Great Bear, while the Southern Cross appeared well above the southern horizon, and all hands looked out sharp to the southward for the Magellan Clouds, which, each succeeding night, we expected to make. ``The next time we see the North Star,'' said one, ``we shall be standing to the northward, the other side of the Horn.'' This was true enough, and no doubt it would be a welcome sight, for sailors say that in coming home from round Cape Horn, or the Cape of Good Hope, the North Star is the first land you make.

There are a lot of books about sailing and navigation you might find interesting, here;


Clear skies,


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