|Seattle, WA December ,||Number 26|
Compass, the Chinese GPS satellite... we think this might be an artist conception.
|Update on Chinese GPS System|
"Compass" is the name of the Chinese GPS system which they expect to work locally in 2012 and globally in 2020. Here is the latest satellite launch announcement.
The USCG Nav Rules questions remain a good way to study the rules, however.
|USCG removes all exam questions from public access|
As of mid July the USCG has removed all exam questions from their web site for deck licenses and for engineers. They had been public information since the 80's when the USCG lost a public information suit and had to provide them. Starpath was one of the first schools in the world to translate the very complex computer tapes they provided because in those days we still had one foot in a physics lab, which had very powerful computer tools. We then incorporated this information into our training programs and have used this background on some level ever since.
Now it seems the USCG attorneys have decided they no longer need to offer these and they have stopped distributing them. You can read here about the reasons they give. (Let us know if this link goes missing. we have archived a copy.)
We still have all of these questions available to the public in two products, the Nav Rules Plus includes all the deck questions and the Engineer Examiner includes all the engineering questions and diagrams.
Northern Lights (aurora borealis)
|Solar flares might lead to visible Northern Lights|
There is a storm on the sun and we will be getting some fall out from it on earth, maybe tonight and the next day or so. This may be just first signs of more to come. See Solar Blast heads for Earth
Optional 5-day Ocean Passage Maker certification voyage follows the cel nav course.
|Another Starpath Cel Nav Course in Tortola, BVI|
It is rather short notice, but we will be offering a Cel Nav Course in Tortola, starting Wed Mar 3 through Sat March 6. Four days, full time. This course is taught in collaboration with Offshore Sailing School. If you might be interested in taking part, please contact Offshore Sailing School. Hotel room is provided. David Burch will be the instructor.
Starpath instructor Hewitt Schlereth taught this course last month, and requests for another came quicker than we had expected.
Now what will we do with all of these?
The termination of the Loran-C signal
We all knew it was coming and here it is. The USCG announced the official date for the end of Loran-C signal…February 8th. Canada will also decommision its Loran-C system in 2010. An official date has not been set in Canada but it's expected to take place on or before October 1, 2010.
Below is the actual text of the USCG official notice:
SUBJ: TERMINATION OF AL U.S. LORAN-C SIGNALS
1. IAW THE 2010 DHS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, THE U.S.COAST GUARD WILL TERMINATE THE TRANSMISSION OF ALL U.S. LORAN-C SIGNALS EFFECTIVE 2000Z 08 FEB 2010. AT THAT TIME, THE U.S. LORAN-C SIGNAL WILL BE UNUSABLE AND PERMANENTLY DISCONTINUED. THIS TERMINATION DOES NOT AFFECT U.S. PARTICIPATION IN THE RUSSIAN-AMERICAN OR CANADIAN LORAN-C CHAINS. U.S.PARTICIPATION IN THESE CHAINS WILL CONTINUE TEMPORARILY IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.
For more information or to access your local Notice to Mariners you want to visit the USCG Navigation website: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/lnm/
|International Code of Signals|
We have made a new printing of this important reference book. You can see it at Pub 102, International Code of Signals. We also include a link on that web page to an article that explains the value of this publication, which is one that should be on all coastal and oceangoing vessels. It is required by law on commercial vessels, prudent for all vessels. See other new books from Starpath at Starpath Publications
Capt. Steve Miller
|Cel Nav Classroom course in FL starts Feb 10|
The basic Celestial Nav course will start on Wednesday 10 February 2010 and finish on Wednesday 17 Feb 2010. Classes run 0830 to 1600 daily. Sextant practice sessions at the beach are included.
An ASA 107 (Cel Nav) course immediately following on Thursday 18 February 2010 and ending on Saturday 20 Feb 2010 with the ASA Exam.
Classes meet at Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart FL. Instructor is Capt. Steve Miller. The Starpath Cel Nav course materials are used for both courses. For info on registration call 772-283-8130
The QuikSCAT satellite
|Aging QuikSCAT satellite failing|
The QuikSCAT satellite that has provided invaluable wind data since 1999 has finally begun to fail and may be gone. When we learn reliable information on this we will report it here. The satellite has lived and served well long past its expected lifetime. The loss of it will have far reaching implications, not the least of which is the input to the model computations. In very broad terms, we might expect the GRIB forecasts will suffer from this.... just at a time so many mariners are beginning to rely on them. It is a good thing we have our weather course to keep these matters in perspective. We will keep latest news and options (Europe, India, China) up to date in the weather course discussion forum.
For now there is this NASA announcement
A treasure chest of goodies
|New Bosun's Locker|
We have added a new section called the Bosun's Locker that has secondhand books and navigational equipment. We also include there some "scratch and dent" items, as they might show up, meaning working fine but with some blemish that reduces them from full price. We often get new books in this category that are damaged slightly in shipping and cannot be sold as new.
Also if you have books or equipment of your won you might like to sell here, drop us a line to learn the procedures.
If you lose the above link, it is in the top of the books or accessories part of our online catalog.
|Great Interveiw with Stan Honey|
Yachtpals.com has a wonderful in depth interview with Stan Honey who is universally regarded as one of the top sailboat racing navigators in the world. He holds ocean records on Cal 40's on up to the state of the art super yachts. See yachtpals.com. This is also a good site to keep up with world racing, including the Americas Cup.
Hockey Puck bearing compass, $119
|Hockey Puck now in the catalog|
We have finally got around to adding the Hockey Puck bearing compass to our catalog. We have used these for 30 years.