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    Sunline Saga
    From: Greg Rudzinski
    Date: 2016 Jun 24, 11:34 -0700


    On 22 June 2016 the sailing sloop Grey Eagle (40 ft. Gary Mull design) was cruising comfortably up the Southern California coast to test a new mainsail. Sail trimming characteristics, shape, and performance passed muster so then it was on to showing off to the crew how easy it is to do celestial navigation. A few quick lesson reminders were immediately handed to the CN instructor (me) 1. never use easy and celestial navigation in the same sentence and 2. don't expect celestial observations to ever go as planned. The plan was to use a Palm Pilot Navigator app on a Centro cell phone using the boats GPS position as the assumed position then to simply enter the observed lower limb Hs (by Davis MK 3) and UT time (by Casio Digital Watch) into the Centro phone for an immediate azimuth and intercept. Well... the phone battery was stone dead. So much for showing off :( Now I had to explain and demonstrate to the crew how to do sight reduction the hard way (not the hardest way) using the one page photocopy of the 249 long term almanac for Sun declination and GHA then solving for Hc and azimuth using a solar powered trig calculator and the spherical law of cosine formula. We weren't going anywhere fast but I still ended up apologizing for spending 20 minutes crunching out a sunline within 4 nautical miles of GPS followed by five minutes of navigator rationalizations on why this was actually a pretty good observation considering the circumstances of an overcast sky, fuzzy horizon, bouncy cockpit, and plastic sextant. The crew were politely impressed and went on to the next topic of discussion which was as I recall something to do with the quality of the imported beer at hand and the expected time of the next tack. As the Captain came about he said with a grin " Impressive sextant work Greg, I'll be sure to save a berth on the boat for you on the trip to Bora Bora after everything goes dark on us". 

    6/22/2016 UT 20:30:10   L.L.Sun

    H.E. 7 ft.   I.E. 0'   S.D. 15.7'

    Ho 77° 14'

    aLon. 119° 16.7' W  (GPS)

    aLat.   34° 10.3' N  (GPS)

    LHA(t) 7° 44'

    Dec 23° 25' N

    Greg Rudzinski

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