A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David C
Date: 2023 May 13, 02:53 -0700
At the same time, as I have noted several times recently, NavList communication and discussion has been in steady decline for several years. Maybe we do need a new model... If it is to survive, what should NavList aspire to be?
From my point of view navlist has done what I warted of it - taught me 20th century pre-computer navigation. Much (most?) of what is currently discussed I do not understand or am not interested in. Therefore I continue to lurk but do not contribute. Here is mybackground to see where navlist fits in.
In 1955 I travelled on the maiden voyage of the Southern Cross to NZ. IIRC the crossing of the line ceremony was held at a swimming pool in front of the bridge. I now realise that I could probably have watched the navigators taking noon sights every day but at six years old I did not know what navigation was.
In the early 1970s I knew about CN and wondered how it worked. I purchased a vernier sextant from an ancient mariner and also a copy of 229 which I think had just been published. I recall having a container of mercury for an artificial horizon. Where I got it from I cannot remember and it probably would be illegal today. I did not have any success.
Four decades passed and one day I got the sextant out of its case (which had been opened in a burglary but nothing taken) and decided it was time to get serious. I found navlist and started to teach myself CN.
I learned how to take a sight and use the almanac to determe GHA and dec.
I learned that there are three methods (lunar excluded) - noon sight (and variations such as ex-meridian), intercept and long by chron.
I learned about St Hilaire and his "new navigation" and Sumner and his position lines.
I learned that there were three methods of reducing sights - logarithms, short tables such as Dreisonstok and pre-computed tables such as 214.
I discovered that Abe books is a good place to buy navigational tables and volumes of the Admiralty manual of navigation. I considered buying a complete set of the AMN (1914 to the 1960s when the Admiralty was subsumed into the MOD) but have not put enough effort into it.
I admit that I have not attended any of Frank's courses.
The above is a summary of my interests. Is there anything that anyone on the forum what be interested in? I suppose that I could boast about my book collection but that is only one post!
I think I have just realised what the problem with navlist is - everything that anyone needs to know about CN is in the forum archives! e.g if I posted a message about Hughe's Tables For Air and Sea Navigation someone will probably reply quoting a lengthy discussion on the gentleman ten or fifteen yars ago. Therefore I do not post!