Pencil, Paper and Stars

B1520

With the advent of GPS and the development of integrated electronic navigation and communications systems an increasing number of sailors now depend entirely on electronic automated systems. That is fine until electrical power is lost, equipment is water damaged, or solar storms degrade or block GPS signals.

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NAME: Pencil, Paper and Stars
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1520
DATE: 190508
AUTHOR: Alastair Buchan
PUBLISHER: Wiley Nautical
BINDING: Soft back
PAGES: 187
PRICE: GB£14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: traditional navigation, emer-
gency navigation, star sights, sun
sights, celestial navigation, charts
ISBN: 978-0-470-51652-2
IMAGE: B1520.jpg
LINKS: http://tinyurl.com/

DESCRIPTION

With the advent of GPS and the development of integrated electronic navigation and communications systems an increasing number of sailors now depend entirely on electronic automated systems. That is fine until electrical power is lost, equipment is water damaged, or solar storms degrade or block GPS signals. When Adrian Flanagan decided to attempt the first vertical bi-polar circumnavigation as a rookie sailor, sailing single-handed, he duplicated all the electronic systems on his 40 foot sloop. He also equipped a survival dinghy with its own handheld systems, again duplicated. Rounding Cape Horn, one of only 14 single-handed sailors to achieve this against currents and winds and in the smallest boat to succeed, a double knock-down took out his primary systems and degraded his backups. However, he still had his paper charts, updated from the start of the voyage, and a full set of traditional navigation equipment. Without this he would have been in real trouble. He also experienced, as expected, that satphone and GPS signals in the polar regions were weak and badly affected by solar storms and the Northern and Southern Lights. Few sailors would contemplate such an extreme voyage, but even in and near coastal waters the electronic systems can fail. Mindful of these risks, and knowing that there are sailors who would like to be able to master traditional navigation, Alastair Buchan has put his experience to writing an excellent practical guide to the subjects of traditional and emergency navigation. The book has been produced to the usual high standard for which Wiley Nautical is known, with the use of full colour illustration throughout. The explanations are clear and very easy to follow, supported by first class illustration. The book is excellent value and is essential reading for all sailors, even if they rely normally on electronic systems.

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