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    Re: A-10 Sextant Manual
    From: Christian Scheele
    Date: 2009 Jun 11, 02:19 +0200

    Hi Douglas,
    thanks for the post on Chichester.
    Is it difficult to get the Observer's Book No. 4? It would be good to know.
    I only have 1 and 2 (bought them for Rand 10 (!) each at a second-hand book
    shop), no. 3 I have on loan, saw it once on ebay, but did't buy it. I have
    some hunting ahead of me.
    I also have "The Lonely Sea and the Sky" (Rand 15 used). Pointing out his
    plane's engine problems you say he was reckless. I don't really think I'm
    qualified enough to judge his decision to navigate using a (his?) method iof
    setting a new course at a precomputed D.R. position an hour before E.T.A. on
    both islands on the basis of a sun-shot, but pretending I am for a moment,
    I'll say it was the riskiest and bravest planned navigation feat of those
    epic flight days. Perhaps it was reckless. I mean, his sun shot of course
    gave him only a position line, or rather, an assumed position line. If a
    pilot is looking for an island the size of Norfolk or Lord Howe, it makes
    for a hair-raising scenario.Chichester writes in the same book something
    like "turning  90 degrees over the middle of the ocean after flying a single
    course the whole day, each minute before sighting land seemed like an hour."
    An understatement, we can be sure of that!
    Ending on lighter, if perhaps not very complimentary note to the great man,
    I just flew from the north-tip of New Zealand to Norfolk and then Lord Howe.
    Wait for the punch line: On Google Earth. At an altitude of about 100m, only
    using the "compass", ignoring the coordinate indicators. Actually, I missed
    both islands.
    Christian Scheele
    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 8:21 PM
    Subject: [NavList 8608] Re: A-10 Sextant Manual
    No... sheer coincidence.  Chichester the City on teh South coast of Britain
    and Sir Francis Chichester have no connection that I know of.  I actually
    live in Bosham which is 3 miles SW of Chichester;  but Chichester is the
    closest city for anyone wishing to know my approx location in GB.
    Francis Chichester became famous here in GB for his solo circumnavigation of
    the world in his fine yacht Gipsey Moth IV,  and for which he was knighted
    with much pomp and circumstance in 1966. He stopped once in Sydney in the
    This is very irritating to those who know it took much longer for Sir Robin
    Knox-Johnstone to become recognised and knighted (in 1995) ...and without
    the media interest and pomp and ceremony afforded Chichester,  yet he was
    teh first to sail non-stop and single handed  around the world in his boat
    Suhali in 1969!
    Similarly the unknown fruit and vegatable merchnt Alec Rose from Portsmouth
    circumnavigated the world too a year later after various misfortunes made
    him unable to start until a year after Francis Chichester though he wanted
    to start at the same time, and he became knighted only after the world press
    took an interst in his personal achievement as a pensioner with a passion
    for single-handed long distance sailing who made it through grit and
    determination to complete the circumnavigatoin in hs relatively poorly
    equipped boat compared to Chichester.
    His flight from New Zealand to Australia across the Tasman Sea in a Gypsey
    Moth float aeroplane in 1931 is much less well known but is by far the most
    amazing navigational feat for which he received the Johnston memorial Trophy
    for Navigation in 1931.   In my view it was an astonishing achievement
    requiring great courage and determination, but was nevertheless utterly
    foolish and reckless in a single engined aeroplane which already had engine
    problems with compression and valve troubles. By accounts he was a strange
    irrascible man but very determined.
    It this flight and its description which made me very interested in the
    Bygrave slide rule.
    It is described in his book "The Lonely Sea and the Sky"  first printed
    1964;  in Chapter 11 'The Tasman Sea'.
    He also describes the flight from Norfolk Island to Lord Howe Island in some
    detail, with an accompanying chart in  "The Observer's Book on
    Astro-Navigation"  Part four.
    These Observer's Books were published from 1940 and during the war to assist
    the navigators recruited into the RAF.  Chichester wanted to be a pilot but
    the RAF excluded him from operational flying because of his poor
    eyesight(needing glasses) for which he was very discontented and bitter. He
    was an instuctor of navigators.
    In the Observers books he describes himself also as Air Navigation
    Specialist, Henry Hughes and Son Ltd. .. which ties in with the description
    given to me by the gentleman who gave me the sextants who worked at Henry
    There were four of the Observer's Books on Astro- Navigation; I have copies
    of them here.
    I admire Chichester's navigation exploits very highly, but do not admire the
    man by all accounts of him.
    Douglas Denny.
    Chichester. England.
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