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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Watching a programme on TV last night about the worlds worst jobs and this episode had a nautical theme.
ONe clip was about the "Snotties" i.e. midshipmen casting the log to find out the ships speed.
Don't know who their nautical adviser was but they did not do it right.
However that is not my point.
I got the grey matter going again about nautical navigation aids that we all thought absolutely necessary for us to go round the globe sucessfully.

One that I only ever saw used once but was a question in second mates ORALS.
How to use a deep sea lead. The patient lead was a contraption that had a reel with wire with handle for rewinding.
a large weight was attatched to the end and a glass tube with a chemical was put on it. Supposed to have a boxwood scale to measure it when it was recovered but if not there we a forumula (wet/dry X 5.5). Useless machine.
Others that I wonder if they still are used or even fitted to modern vessels

1. D.F.
2. Decca Navigator.
3. Echo sounders
4. Loran "C"
5. Gongs for use in fog when anchored.
6. All round signaling lamp
7. Aldis lamp with battery.
8. Sextant
9. Chromometer
10. Nories Tables
11. Patient log (the one that was streamed over the strn with a propellor
12. Chernikif log (the one that was a tube lowered when you cleared port and hoped to retract it b4 entering port
I am sure there are more and I look forward to some other views.
I was going to mention FLAGS (international code) but that is a topic I won't mention again
 

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lakercapt said:
Watching a programme on TV last night about the worlds worst jobs and this episode had a nautical theme.
ONe clip was about the "Snotties" i.e. midshipmen casting the log to find out the ships speed.
Don't know who their nautical adviser was but they did not do it right.
However that is not my point.
I got the grey matter going again about nautical navigation aids that we all thought absolutely necessary for us to go round the globe sucessfully.

One that I only ever saw used once but was a question in second mates ORALS.
How to use a deep sea lead. The patient lead was a contraption that had a reel with wire with handle for rewinding.
a large weight was attatched to the end and a glass tube with a chemical was put on it. Supposed to have a boxwood scale to measure it when it was recovered but if not there we a forumula (wet/dry X 5.5). Useless machine.
Others that I wonder if they still are used or even fitted to modern vessels

1. D.F.
2. Decca Navigator.
3. Echo sounders
4. Loran "C"
5. Gongs for use in fog when anchored.
6. All round signaling lamp
7. Aldis lamp with battery.
8. Sextant
9. Chromometer
10. Nories Tables

I am sure there are more and I look forward to some other views.
I was going to mention FLAGS (international code) but that is a topic I won't mention again
1 & 2 gone but the rest are still there along with the signal flags. (Thumb)
 

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Not strictly navigational aids, but what about the six wooden buckets of sand to put the fire out? They were certainly still around in the 70's.

Derek
 

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When I was at college in Liverpool we used to get lectures on how to use a slide rule, don't suppose you see many of them at sea these days!
 

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the six wooden bucket were on the flying bridge as for the codes you mentioned i doupt they would even know what they were these days they are all G.P.S nav aids i sometimes wonder what would happen if they were all scrubed
 

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British certified Masters & Mates they were in abundance once, but becoming rather scarce in numbers now to what we had
 

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dnobmal said:
British certified Masters & Mates they were in abundance once, but becoming rather scarce in numbers now to what we had
Along with British AB's, Cooks, Stewards, Motormen the list is endless (Cloud)
 

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Pat McCardle said:
Along with British AB's, Cooks, Stewards, Motormen the list is endless (Cloud)
Sorry did not mean to offend but my answer was in the context of navigational aids,I agree with you wholeheartedly it takes everyone to man and run a ship from Deck-boy to Master
 

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lakercapt said:
Watching a programme on TV last night about the worlds worst jobs and this episode had a nautical theme.
ONe clip was about the "Snotties" i.e. midshipmen casting the log to find out the ships speed.
Don't know who their nautical adviser was but they did not do it right.
However that is not my point.
I got the grey matter going again about nautical navigation aids that we all thought absolutely necessary for us to go round the globe sucessfully.

One that I only ever saw used once but was a question in second mates ORALS.
How to use a deep sea lead. The patient lead was a contraption that had a reel with wire with handle for rewinding.
a large weight was attatched to the end and a glass tube with a chemical was put on it. Supposed to have a boxwood scale to measure it when it was recovered but if not there we a forumula (wet/dry X 5.5). Useless machine.
Others that I wonder if they still are used or even fitted to modern vessels

1. D.F.
2. Decca Navigator.
3. Echo sounders
4. Loran "C"
5. Gongs for use in fog when anchored.
6. All round signaling lamp
7. Aldis lamp with battery.
8. Sextant
9. Chromometer
10. Nories Tables
11. Patient log (the one that was streamed over the strn with a propellor
12. Chernikif log (the one that was a tube lowered when you cleared port and hoped to retract it b4 entering port
I am sure there are more and I look forward to some other views.
I was going to mention FLAGS (international code) but that is a topic I won't mention again
3. Still in use
5. Still in use ( Bell and gong )
6. Still in use
7. Still in use
8. Still in use
9. Still in use
10. Still in use
 

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When I first went to sea (mid fifties) the cadets regularly used the hand and deep sea lead as it was thought to be good training for young fellows to improve their seamanship skills.

The hand lead was quite enjoyable and became a bit of a contest between us to see who was most proficient. One poor cadet managed to land it on the foc'sle head - he really copped it for that one. Photo attached of a port arrival.

The deep sea lead was an absolute pain in the ****!.
 

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I always enjoyed swinging the lead. As Briggs says, always a contest. We've got a 18 yr old Loran-C onboard. It's been turned on all of 3 or 4 times in the last 6 years. One of our two GPS units is bolted to the top of it. Other then the 1940 R.C.N. Aldis lamp on my mantle, the last time I saw one on a ship was 8 years ago. Apart from Alpha, Bravo, Hotel, Oscar & Quebec, I haven't seen signal flags used for anything other then dressing ship or just having fun sending signals to old shipmates. My favourite signal has always been Sierra November - "You should stop immediately. Do not scuttle. Do not lower boats. Do not use the wireless. If
you disobey I shall open fire on you"
 

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You still need the gongs but otherwise the rest of the list is redundant.
Morse code has been dicontinued. The last time I saw a lead line used was going up the Hooghly River to Calcutta in 1961 and that was by the leadsman who accompanied the Pilot.

Anyone other than Everards men steer by compass points instead of by degrees?

Today navigation is all electronic, it's worked for aircraft for the last thirty years and finally we have caught up.

The latest chartplotters are available at a price of between $1200 and $3000 US and a faily good radar without all the bells and whistles in the same price range.

With radar and GPS, you should not need a depth sounder, it only tells you when you have exactly run aground, you don't have to follow a line of soundings up the Thames estuary in thick fog anymore

At a pinch, you only need your laptop computer and a handheld GPS. You can purchase a GPS for a little as $39.00 U.S. and yoiu can download free navigation sofware. All U.S. charts can be downloaded free and for other areas the price of chips is lower than buying the paper charts and you don't have to correct them as updates are automatic.
 

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As a teacher in navigation the pupils thought the same way, and I used to ask them what they were going to do when they run out of electricity. Quite a few of these items are very selldom used but we need them there for sure. A few years ago we started to discuss identficaton of stars, which led to that on my watch, 4-8, there were all the cadets, and a couple of filipino AB:s with 3:d mates licences making astronomical obresvations, and discussed about all the finesses. It actually started from finding Zubenelgenubi, and what great fun that was!!!
 

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Ralf I Karlson said:
As a teacher in navigation the pupils thought the same way, and I used to ask them what they were going to do when they run out of electricity. Quite a few of these items are very selldom used but we need them there for sure. A few years ago we started to discuss identficaton of stars, which led to that on my watch, 4-8, there were all the cadets, and a couple of filipino AB:s with 3:d mates licences making astronomical obresvations, and discussed about all the finesses. It actually started from finding Zubenelgenubi, and what great fun that was!!!
As an old timer myself, I couldn't agree with you more. However the answer to no electricity is "change the batteries". House bank batteries will also work. As for astro navigation, I'm glad I can use it, but don't see too many Boeing 777"s with a bubble sextant aboard.
Cheers
Bob
 

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Jeff Egan said:
When I was at college in Liverpool we used to get lectures on how to use a slide rule, don't suppose you see many of them at sea these days!
You must be one of the young ones Jeff, in my day we used an abbacus!!
Seriously though, anyone remember the Friden machines that were used for calculating cargo aboard on tankers. You wound round a handle for each addition or multiplication. Looked like bus conductors ticket machines.
 

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Keltic Star said:
You must be one of the young ones Jeff, in my day we used an abbacus!!
Seriously though, anyone remember the Friden machines that were used for calculating cargo aboard on tankers. You wound round a handle for each addition or multiplication. Looked like bus conductors ticket machines.
Great machines as long as you didn't forget how many times you had turned the handle if distracted!

Sebe
 

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Even though I'm yet another traditionalist and old-timer (Elleramn & Bucknall 1952-56 etc) I still maintain that Capt. Cook would have demanded a GPS if they had been around- they are marvellous. BUT have any of you used it around poorly-charted coastal routes such as Papua New Guinea? Ours frequently gave us positions that on the chart purported to be villages/hills/estuaries- even though we could see the items miles away!
Even the radar pictures didn't agree with the shapes of much of the coast as charted- so it was always back-to-basics as far as the mates were concerned- the main topic being to concentrate on one's distance off a nasty thing like a rock rather than where we were on the earth's surface... (Fly)
 

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I've come across the same problems, the charts aren't good enough, coming down east of papua-ng between all the beatifull islands you really have to look out, not rely on the electronics.
We even had an accident here in the northern baltic where the electronics had an newer chartdatum than the chart!
What we have to get through to the younsters is that the reason that there is a good view from the bridge is that one is supposed to see what's going on.
There is a story going around here which unfortunately could be tru, that one of the first who graduated with our new system went signed on his first job as 3:d mate, and everything wenr well, working with all computers and such on the bridge, until late afternoon and it became dark, when this guy asked distressed that "are you driving these things when it's dark?"
The few years I've left before retirement can't be short enough!
When the old joke that one dares to sleep only on his own watch becomes a fact ....
 

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Ah "Zubers" I was on one ship where just for fun we only checked the Gyro by taking an Azimuth of Zubenelgenubi, it caught on for a while, just a bit of madness as we became "Stir" crazy on long trips from Europe to the gulf.
 
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