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3.9 out of 5 stars
Celestial Navigation
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97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2002
This book is an unusual guide to celestial navigation; it is not four inches thick and filled with impossible mathematical formulae.
In his gentle and humerous way Tom Cunliffe takes you through, what becomes, the very simple process of calculating your position at sea using a sextant,the sun, moon, stars and planets. "Calculating" is a strong term to use, since the most complicated piece of arithmetic involved is to remember that a degree is divided into sixty minutes, not a hundred.
I was teaching myself how to use a sextant from this book in Mid Atlantic in August of 1999. GPS rolled over to week zero in that month and my receiver locked up, forcing me to use a sextant and the stars for real. It worked.
This is the book that will make using a sextant and the stars to find your position a pleasure and a simple skill rather than some form of complex and archaic "Dark Art"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2010
This little book was the first book I ever read on Cel Nav...I really do recommend it to anyone who is thinking about taking up this amazing subject..Even if you aren't its still worth a read as although its thin ..its packed with almost everything

Tom Cunliffe brilliantly explains things which I took for granted and was proved wrong. And the Author's "You tube" videos are really worth a look.

When I first started out on Cel nav..... I wanted nice glossy pictures not damn maths and trigonometry (as important as they are)and you get them here ...but with also hard facts and common sense

This is not written by someone like myself who now knows a bit about the subject but has not ever navigated ...but by someone who has real everyday life practical experience and all this shows in the style of writing ..and yes there is humour too :)

Well done Tom ...Thank you
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2007
I had tried and failed to understand celestial navigation with 2 other books - but this book and its excellent diagrams make the whole subject understandable. Highly recommended
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on 22 September 2013
I thought this book is pitched about right for someone who wants to learn celestial navigation from a practical perspective. The Air Sight Reduction tables are easy to use and Tom does a very good job of describing how to use them to get a position line.

For those looking for more on the theory the book is bit light - no real mention of the PZX triangle and the fact that an altitude is not the zenith distance even though it is true altitude and calculated altitude that is used to find the position line intercept.

Bit surprised to see diagrams with the zero meridian at the top of the page - this certainly is not the convention used when I was a deck officer in the Merchant Navy - zero was at the bottom so that west is on the left of the page.

A really useful extra for the 'checking the compass section' would be the ABC Azimuth tables so that the user can then check the compass at any time - not just at sun rise or sun set.

All in all a very good practical reference that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2014
formatting and fonts so bad it is unreadable on kindle, try the sample before you buy and you can see for yourself..
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on 14 June 2015
I bough this book few months ago and since then I have been trying to read it in few different devices in my kindle app, unfortunately the book comes all messy, the images do not match the article, the letters shows only one or two lies per page, I have trying changing the reading settings like word sizes, by now I can say is impossible to read its content.
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on 18 December 2012
I felt that with this book and the various tables necessary I could sail round the world without a GPS and go by traditional methods. Tom Cunliff gives clear descriptions of how it all falls together without doing it in a complicated way. At the end you understand GHA and LHA as if you had done it all your life. Simply written and simply brilliant
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on 24 March 2014
Download for IPad and text does not display correctly, totally unreadable. How can the venerable Tom put his name to this shambles.
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on 16 February 2014
I did find the lack of page numbers in the Kindle version difficult to know where to look for drawings etc but as Tom explained in his email that the book was written many years ago and when it was put in electronic form the no provision for page numbers
I did find the book very good though
thank you
K Gregory
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2010
I am thinking I need a second copy to ensure I have at least one thats not lost and is in my briefcase for revision and practise. Much has changed since my HMS days in the 1960's and anyone who has learned navigation more than 10 years ago is recommended to bring themselves uptodate.
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