More Ramblings on Navigation

Day 163/41

Noon Position: 01 43N 150 52W

Course/Speed: NNE4

Wind: SExE 7-10

Bar: 1009, steady

Sea: E4

Sky: Overcast (alto cumulus and cumulus)

Cabin Temperature: 88

Water Temperature: 84

Sail: All plain sail, reaching. Just after noon, up went the #1,

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 131

Miles this leg: 5,076

Avg. Miles this leg: 124

Miles since departure: 22,050

We are nearing the top of the trades. Winds are veering more into the south and becoming lighter, which makes for a very comfortable, cruise-ship type ride. Things set on the counter aren’t immediately flung to the floor. I can move about the cabin without being punched in the gut by the salon table or kicked in the shins by the stove. As long as one has no other place he needs to be, this is perfection. It would the purest torture if, say, one were best man at a wedding scheduled for next Tuesday.

I’ve been using the time to get good (read, at least consistent) at astro-navigation. The mostly sunny days and a nearly flat sea present about as ideal a lab environment as one could hope for. I’ve added planets to the morning, noon, and afternoon sun sights, and tonight, if this unusual overcast clears, stars.

I was in no rush to add stars until my shots of Saturn these last three nights turned out to be shots of Arcturus. Saturn, as it should happen, is four houses away and below the horizon when I’m at the ready.

From my friend Matt, lately of DRINA, the yacht that explored the Southern Ocean Islands while MO made her circuit, I learn that mine is the “manual” astro-navigation method and that the number “calculated” ways to find your position is as vast as the heavens.

He, a professionally trained mariner and all around bright guy, also enjoys practicing astro-navigation whenever he’s at sea. He asked the other day if I was familiar with Marc St. Hilaire.

“Sounds like a cathedral in Paris,” I responded.

“No, it’s my go-to site reduction method. Surely you know it. Crazy simple: COS Czd = SIN Lat SIN Dec + COS Lat COS Dec COS LHA. You use that, right?”

“Um. No, Matt. I use a protractor and a number two pencil.”

Of the below photos, there is a metallic quality to today’s blue ocean. Not sure why. Am guessing it’s the white reflection from the cumulus cloud, but it gives all a cool aspect that’s an unusual contrast to the electric sapphire and indigo blues.

The range and changeability of this one color, blue, is stunning.

Also, last night I tried to catch the moon, still nearly full, coming out of cloud, but the cloud grew as the moon rose. The shots this produced were amazingly painterly, eery and full of mood; reminiscent of Turner, I thought.

One Comment on “More Ramblings on Navigation

  1. The vice in the pic looks like it is in a lethal position.

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