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    Re: American navigation.
    From: Douglas Denny
    Date: 2009 Oct 31, 16:31 -0700

    It is not just Americans who might have gone to sea with only a school atlas 
    as the "navigation aid" available for a chart.  And what's wrong with that 
    anyway?  Columbus would have been ecstatic to have one.
    
    I have heard of this kind of "navigation" from a number of sources over the 
    years from unimpeachable sources, though I admit I cannot direct you to a 
    definitive source right now.
     
    It is also reported in the newspapers here from time to time of strange people 
    who seem to think they are going to sail from Britain to Australia or 
    elsewhere and have virtually no navigational aid beyond a compass, and 
    according to the reports they are most likeley not sure how to use that 
    either.
    
    There is one called 'Captain Calamity' in the newspapers recently, who has had 
    to be rescued a couple of times like this, it being reported only in the last 
    year or so.  See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/1503308.stm
    
    I have personally met a chap who told me he was taken on as "navigator" for a 
    delivery trip for a sailing boat from England to one of the Caribbean Isles, 
    and who, when asked what sight reduction method did he use said "Eh?!  what's 
    that?
    
    It transpired that he did actually know a bit about navigation as someone had 
    shown him how to find a LAN for the sun and how to work out the Latitude with 
    a declination table for the day.  So How did he find the island?  By pointing 
    South until he hit the 'right' latitude - then turned right and sailed West 
    until he hit the next land available... more or less as Columbus did.  Can't 
    complain - he got there all right.  Oh! and the chart he used? - a North 
    Atlantic Admiralty chart only (at least it was a proper chart) but the scale 
    of course was not much better than a school atlas ....!
    
    
    Douglas Denny.
    Chichester. England. 
    
    
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