First Sextant - Ships Nostalgia
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First Sextant

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  #1  
Old 24th December 2018, 11:17
Foca Foca is offline  
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First Sextant

I was just thinking of my first sextant which I bought after passing 2nd Mates, from a surplus place somewhere in Glasgow. It cost the sum of 12 and came in a large box. Ex Admiralty Hezzanith produced 1942, which I still have and it still has no errors after all these years of use
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  #2  
Old 24th December 2018, 12:26
IRW IRW is offline  
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Same here. From Charles Frank in,I think the Saltmarket. A Hezzanith three circle.
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  #3  
Old 24th December 2018, 13:03
Michael Taylor Michael Taylor is offline  
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Mine was given me by a retired Mate from a Border Tanker in 1958. Every ship I joined it was carried by hand onto planes if we joined overseas....often wonder how many times I would have been asked at customs in these days..."what is this?".
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  #4  
Old 24th December 2018, 15:38
saudisid saudisid is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Taylor View Post
Mine was given me by a retired Mate from a Border Tanker in 1958. Every ship I joined it was carried by hand onto planes if we joined overseas....often wonder how many times I would have been asked at customs in these days..."what is this?".
Mike
When I left the Al Mubarakiah flew from JFK to London after 2 internal Flights. At Security the woman on the x ray machine asked " What is that " She was told its a SUn gun used to shoot the sun to find out where we were only thing it was not like Erol Flynns. It did not give Lat and Long. I have do some sums to work out where we were. No problems with it she had never seen one. A bit of change from LHR. When flying out to join the Glasgow in 71 [ just after the 3 hi jackings ] Guy at the deck at the gate when I said to him to take care as it was an optical instrument. He opens it take a look and says we get a lot of you Guys flying through here. Then on the bus to the Plane Spud Murphy says Suds have you got that bomb in your little wooded box ?

Hate to think what would happen now

Alan
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  #5  
Old 24th December 2018, 16:19
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howardang howardang is offline  
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I took Second Mates in Hull in 1964 and baught an old Hillman Minx for 50. After passing I sold the car for 55 and bought a brand new B Cookes Super Kingston sextant and had a little change left over! The car cost me nothing therefore and the sextant served me well until I came ashore.

Howard
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  #6  
Old 24th December 2018, 16:59
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Varley Varley is offline   SN Supporter
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I thought you were going o do the old joke. "Unfortunately Hillman made crap sextants as did Cookes, automobiles"!
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  #7  
Old 24th December 2018, 17:18
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is offline  
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I bought a brand new Plath with a 4 power scope in Hong Kong for $250 which I still have. Haven’t taken a sight in over 50 years, but I know it would come back quickly with a little practice. We sailed bound for Singapore and as 8 - 12 third mate I was shooting the Sun, Venus, and the Moon every twenty minutes for a three way cross fix. Great fun and good memories!
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  #8  
Old 24th December 2018, 18:50
China hand China hand is offline  
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Three Circle Mates, 1959 brand new going to sea present. Hardly ever used in apprenticeship, overworked for years thereafter. Still in perfect nick (along with his much younger Plath and Tamaya cousins).
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  #9  
Old 25th December 2018, 09:45
vic pitcher vic pitcher is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China hand View Post
Three Circle Mates, 1959 brand new going to sea present. Hardly ever used in apprenticeship, overworked for years thereafter. Still in perfect nick (along with his much younger Plath and Tamaya cousins).
A K.H. Mate, bought from SN member John Cann in 1960 when he was 2nd Mate of "Homer City" and he treated himself to a Plath. Many years of good use since then, now a much loved curio.
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Last edited by vic pitcher; 25th December 2018 at 09:47.. Reason: omission
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  #10  
Old 28th December 2018, 23:37
madbob madbob is offline  
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A Vernier by Dolland. Old, of indeterminate age but tough. Was given it by a Trawler Skipper early in 1960 as was going Deep Sea. Carried it all over the world for 10 years until I got wise and used the ships. Still good, in box and I have used it recently to establish the height of some trees on the block. Luckily, never had to do that when I was using it professionally. Always wanted one of Errol Flynns as it would have saved all of those tedious calculations, especially on stars !
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  #11  
Old 29th December 2018, 09:48
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First Sextant

Bought mine-an old 1912 model in Tiger Bay. Cost me 5 if I remember correctly. Served me well and did all the navigation for Phase Two of the US Geophysical Year Participation in the 60's "The Mohole Project". It or me or both must have presented a certain degree of accuracy. I kept it for years as an ornament but later sold it for 100. Good investment.
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  #12  
Old 29th December 2018, 10:20
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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Originally Posted by madbob View Post
Always wanted one of Errol Flynns as it would have saved all of those tedious calculations, especially on stars !
That was also my dream machine, what a boon that would have been.

Watching nautical programmes today and there are still 'our nautical specialist' who thinks that really happens.

My first was a second hand one from Cookes in Hull, bought on the never-never, well I was on 6 per month! and leaving mum nearly half of that
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  #13  
Old 29th December 2018, 10:47
Geoff Gower Geoff Gower is offline  
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Sextant

Still have mine- three circle - bought in 1964 from second hand shop. It sits in its case snuggly beside my desk upon which sits my desk top. Think I will get it out today and practise in the back garden using the distant house roofs as a horizon
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  #14  
Old 29th December 2018, 14:48
loco loco is offline
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Still have my Carl Zeiss drum sextant, bought in 1980 for just under 200...last used when we had the eclipse a few years ago...…….Also have the 'star finder' discs bought at the same time which were used to see which stars would be around to take at 'Star Time'.

Martyn
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  #15  
Old 4th January 2019, 05:25
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3knots 3knots is offline  
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Bought my Tamaya MS-1 from a shop on Isezaki-cho, Yokohama in 1968 just after joining Jardines. Still have it, never any problems and still in excellent condition.
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  #16  
Old 4th January 2019, 12:34
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foca View Post
I was just thinking of my first sextant which I bought after passing 2nd Mates, from a surplus place somewhere in Glasgow. It cost the sum of 12 and came in a large box. Ex Admiralty Hezzanith produced 1942, which I still have and it still has no errors after all these years of use
They must have had a boatload of them as I too purchased one and I only recently gave it to my eldest grandson. I know he won't use it but as a reminder of what his grandfather used to do.
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  #17  
Old 4th April 2019, 03:01
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Anabasis Anabasis is offline  
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Cassens & Plath Horizon Ultra that I received upon graduation from my parents in 1998. I don't bring it to sea any longer as I have other things to carry to the ship. I did bring it on a ship I was on in 2015 when I drove to the ship however. I use the ship's sextant for the most part and take quite a few sights every time I go to sea.
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  #18  
Old 4th April 2019, 07:53
harry t. harry t. is offline
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In 1959, for 10 I bought in Smithfield market in Belfast, a Heath & Co. London SE9.- 1911, with an endless tangent screw and a “new automatic clamp”. It cost another 2.12s.06p to post it to the National Physical Laboratory in London to have it tested and checked for accuracy. A fat lot of good on my first trip 2nd mate, a rhumb line to the Azores thence a Great Circle to the Chesapeake on an old ‘empire’ ship on a ballast passage from Cork to Baltimore. DR positions only for the first 24 days, when we finally got a ‘blink’ of the sun, the lady was 200 miles to the south and 300 miles astern. The old man wasn’t too impressed.
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  #19  
Old 4th April 2019, 22:39
dannic dannic is offline  
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As Chief Engineer when we had safety superintendant sailing and doing a training voyage, turned out he had to do a navigational watch - was a master mariner and 2/O had paid off sick. One of his pet items was ensuring all deck officers took sights instead of relying on gps. Sadly he came to me one afternoon with the ships sextant, a Tamaya, virtually unused......but he had picked the case up and opened it upside down so sextant crashed to the floor! Could we fix it in workshop please? No chance sadly, still feel a bit sorry for the guy now!
Dannic
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  #20  
Old 4th April 2019, 23:10
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James_C James_C is offline   SN Supporter
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My first owned sun gun was a beautiful instrument from Cassens and Plath of Hamburg and purchased by my grandfather (an ex Bosun) as a present when I gained my 2nd Mates FG. Still have it after all these years and it is still in excellent condition - I'd never part with it. He obviously knew something that I didn't at the time - that the Germans produced the best gear!
A few years ago I also acquired a KH 3 circle job produced during the war for the princely sum of 10 quid. The detritus I found inside the case suggested it had been owned by one man from new and that he ended up as Master in either Ocean Fleets or the Cunard empire. I suppose that I at least appreciate it rather than it going in the bin.
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  #21  
Old 4th April 2019, 23:14
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Varley Varley is offline   SN Supporter
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That's how I end up with so many AVO 8s Jim. Can be catching.
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  #22  
Old 4th April 2019, 23:31
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[QUOTE=Michael Taylor;2960131. Every ship I joined it was carried by hand onto planes if we joined overseasthis?".[/QUOTE]

I carried mine always right from first Third Mate. A nuisance to carry but once on board it was mine and enjoyable use.

On a BA flight one night, Bermuda to Heathrow the stewardess came to me and invited to come up the fight deck. Spent three hours up there.

Stephen
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  #23  
Old 5th April 2019, 09:02
harry t. harry t. is offline
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I flew into Manila looking to engage an experienced tug crew. Jesus, a Philipino tug Captain, in trouble with the authorities for breaking an employment contract whilst operating his tug in the Mekong River. Vietnam and Cambodia where dangerous places in the early seventies. His nerve cracked when the chicken wire he had rigged to catch and protect his wheelhouse from rockets fired by Vietcong wasn’t up to the job. I talked him into bringing his whole crew of experienced tugboat men to join me. The main part of the two year deal we signed was that I teach him celestial navigation. As not one of them spoke a word of English a large part of the bridge wing deck was painted with blackboard paint and many balls of chalk used to communicate by numbers and stick men. Neither he nor his first mate had ever set eyes on Admiralty tables but with perseverance and patience I had them crossing a longitude by chronometer with a meridian altitude in six weeks. A running fix in months and star sights by the end of the year. They found using the instrument of double reflection on a bouncy wee tug the most difficult.
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Last edited by harry t.; 5th April 2019 at 10:22..
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  #24  
Old 8th June 2019, 15:46
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Wismajorvik Wismajorvik is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howardang View Post
I took Second Mates in Hull in 1964 and baught an old Hillman Minx for 50. After passing I sold the car for 55 and bought a brand new B Cookes Super Kingston sextant and had a little change left over! The car cost me nothing therefore and the sextant served me well until I came ashore.

Howard
Found a Cooke's catalogue circa about 1960
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  #25  
Old 8th June 2019, 16:38
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howardang howardang is offline  
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Found a Cooke's catalogue circa about 1960
Many thanks for that. I remember that advert in Browns Almanac and that is exactly the model I bought! It served me well for many year and in some ways I wish I hadn't sold it when I eventually came ashore.

Howard
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