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  • Navigation Workbook

    I recently started my navigational workbook as part of the NVQ level 3 portfolio, and was wondering how much calculation other people put in theirs. So far I have been trying to get a sight, an azimuth and a sailing in each watch entry with the odd tidal calculation and bits of narration. How much calculation did you guys put in your workbook?

  • #2
    Re: Navigation Workbook

    I filled about 3 A4 hardback books full of sun/mer pass/star/polaris sights, azimuths, amplitudes, mercator/plane/great circle sailings and met obs.
    You should put a full set of calculations in for each entry as the whole point of the book is to demonstrate that you can actually justify yourself as a navigator - computer printouts are a no-no.
    As a cadet I was forbidden to use a calculator, so all my sights, errors and sailings were worked out using the log/ABC/DMP tables in Nories.

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    • #3
      Re: Navigation Workbook

      Flipping eck Malim!! 3 books!?!?

      I had a tutorial the other day and was told I should do three full days consecutive sights, which would also tie in with days run and all that, and that would be sufficient, I think the requirement is a minimum of 15 calculations. We're only just learning cel nav now, so on my first sea phase I did mercator/great circle calculations, and some plane sailings. I made notes on every watch I did, some were pretty pointless, but when something interesting was going on it was well worth it as I can read it all back and remember exactly what was going on and why.

      Size4riggerboots

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      • #4
        Re: Navigation Workbook

        size4,
        My efforts were not remarkable by any means, some of the other lads had done even more, 6 books plus in some cases.
        When I did my first ticket, the mantra was 'do as much as possible, otherwise the Orals Examiner will do you over', there was no minimum requirement. After all, you can train a monkey to read a sextant altitude and fire numbers into a computer program, but a real navigator should know how to do it all hand-o-matic, i.e. no calculator, just tables, just like Cook, Nelson et al.
        Things have changed I suppose, not necessarily for the better.

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        • #5
          Re: Navigation Workbook

          Well I had an a4 book for compass errors, merpasses and sextant work, another book for sunsets, sunrise and met obs and tides, and another one for eta's, days run, sailings etc. I filled them all and I have a folder full of loose calculations and I didn't have the most in my class either.

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          • #6
            Re: Navigation Workbook

            Oh don't worry, I'm going to be doing a lot more than the minimum requirement! I filled a lever arch folder with ops reports in my first phase and half filled an A4 red and black hardback in the month I spent doing bridge work, more is most definitely better!

            Size4riggerboots

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            • #7
              Re: Navigation Workbook

              I have just began my last 4 month trip a week ago, i have now almost finished my portfolio. I started my navigation workbook last trip but hadnt done half the celestial stuff at college yet so i was a bit stumped. I dont see the point of doing more than an A4 booklet, the aim is surely to prove that you can do the claculations effectively so once you have shown that u can and have given 3 or 4 examples of each the rest is overkill. Might hoy in some radar plots this time as well jazz it up a bit.

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              • #8
                Re: Navigation Workbook

                You can put as much or as little in the navigation workbook as you want. Remember you're trying to prove to the MCA examiner than you are compintent to drive the ship.

                The less you put in the more he will ask you about different things, so it is best to put alot of information in. If he sees lots of calculations, pictures, colour and orginal and interesting entries then he's more likely to go easier on you in the oral.

                All you have to do is show a working knowlege of the calculations for celestial navigation and such like, but the more you do, the more the examiner sees you progress and the more he is satisfied you have an understanding of everything involved with that topic

                To boldly go.....
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                • #9
                  Re: Navigation Workbook

                  Originally posted by Randomist
                  You can put as much or as little in the navigation workbook as you want. Remember you're trying to prove to the MCA examiner than you are compintent to drive the ship.

                  The less you put in the more he will ask you about different things, so it is best to put alot of information in. If he sees lots of calculations, pictures, colour and orginal and interesting entries then he's more likely to go easier on you in the oral.

                  All you have to do is show a working knowlege of the calculations for celestial navigation and such like, but the more you do, the more the examiner sees you progress and the more he is satisfied you have an understanding of everything involved with that topic
                  Agreed, since you're meant to do a gyro and magnetic compass error once a watch or after any major course alteration (I can guarantee that these are in your masters standing orders) it isn't expecting to much for you to include lots and lots of these - since if you're doing it anyway, you might as well record it in your navigation workbook.

                  Celestial Navigation if you're on a ship thats in port every day or mainly purely coastal can be a bit of a pain, but on runs across the Atlantic, Pacific or even 1 or 2 days in a row at sea it's quite possible to do morning stars, midday sun, evening stars - if only to give you something to do! (Of course there's always the nasty weather to ruin your plans).

                  How much the examiners actually look at your Ops / Nav workbooks, I don't know, but you have to assume that since you deposit them with them the week before your exam that they at least flick through it - and as randomist has said - the more you have the less likely they are to ask you to do it in your orals!
                  ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                  ? Mark Twain
                  myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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                  • #10
                    It's not all about calculations. You will need to be putting workouts of radar plots (CPA, TCPA, Alterations and justifications), rendezvous with other vessels( or something like that) may also be handy, application of RoR, any emergencies (I.E MOB . . . whether it was a drill etc). Celestial Navigation is important, 10 Azimuths, Amplitudes, MerPass Lats, Polaris, Star Plots and Sights/ Sun runs etc should be enough for that part. On the other hand, Navigation is not just blowing the dust of a sextant and attempting to use it (successfully). Electronic Navigation (IBS etc) is common on almost every vessel. . . .write about that too. Contingency plans, Navigating in reduced vis/Ice, weather routing etc.

                    I know that you can't always get everything done. I am talking from experience. I am with a small coasting company, I hardly ever get a horizon. Therefore people will accept examples of ABCD etc etc. Try and get every experience you can. Most Oral Examiners will only glance at the book, if they can be bothered!

                    Ryan.

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