Monday, December 7, 2009
The Ageton method is an excellent alternative to the many celestial navigation sight reduction methods out there. For those not familiar with the Ageton method expect to spend a day practicing to get comfortable with Bowditch table #35 (or H.O. 211) and the suggested summing sequence of A, B, and K values. At first the whole process will seem strange but the method will grow on you each time a sight reduction is completed. Allow ten minutes to obtain an Hc calculated altitude and Z azimuth. The compact size of the tables and being able to use any assumed position are the advantages over Pub. 249 and 229. The whole reduction can be done on one side of an index card.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Flares are worth there weight in gold in an emergency which is why an assortment of flare types should be kept aboard. The 26.5 mm or 25 mm flares are good choices that launch higher and brighter than 12 gauge flares for night and twilight over the horizon signaling. Increase the chance of being seen by coordinating a flare launch on the VHF radio using two fired flares with the first flare for attracting attention and the second to confirm a bearing. For signaling short of the horizon hold a hand held flare to leeward using a leather glove. If no signaling devices are at hand then improvise by using an onboard mirror to signal during the day and a camera flash or laser pointer to signal by night.