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    Sextants/Lunars Saturday in RI
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2014 Jul 2, 13:25 -0700

    Richard French and I met up yesterday on Conanicut Island (Jamestown, Narragansett Bay) for some sextant practice and a quick lunch. Richard (38th Voyage, Stellwagen day 2) is an astronomy professor at Wellesley, and he brought along a couple of impressive historical instruments including a beautiful "quintant" which I would guess was probably once used for land-based lunars for mapping work. A thick blanket of fog almost spoiled our plans at Beavertail Point, but like so many fogs here at the southern end of Narragansett Bay, it was pea-soup in one location and barely there just a mile away. We shot some sights and discussed historical details of navigation on the Charles W. Morgan and, all in all, had a great time!

    I am organizing another sextant practice, this one timed for lunars, Saturday afternoon also at Beavertail Point. Richard has already committed to come down again if possible. Any of you with an interest in historical navigation, and who happen to live in southern New England, are more than welcome to join us. I'm also inviting members of the NavList community and some participants in Mystic Seaport's navigation classes/seminars so we may have a nice little group there. We'll have plenty of sextants. The plan is to meet right at Beavertail Point by the lighthouse at 2:30pm and stay taking sights for about an hour, discussing navigation, lunars and more. If you haven't been to Beavertail, it's a beautiful spot with a historic lighthouse and museum and impressive rock formations along the shore. Of course, there's that little tropical cyclone that will be heading up the coast. If it runs on schedule, it will pass southern New England (well out to sea) late Friday night and by Saturday afternoon it should be extra-tropical over Nova Scotia. We should have nice weather by Saturday afternoon, and the surf should be impressive thanks to the storm. It's easy to get there: search on "Beavertail Lighthouse" in Google Maps or similar. There's ample parking, but it's a Saturday on a holiday weekend so you may need to park in one of the lots more distant from the point and walk down.


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