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    Re: American navigation.
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Nov 2, 18:43 -0800

    Peter, you wrote:
    "Doing all this while navigating across the Atlantic with a page from the back 
    of the Bible?  Well why not, that's just the icing on the cake."
    See that's what struck me as urban-legend-ish. A hundred years ago an American 
    with minimal education would know the Bible and nothing else. It might be a 
    nicely decked-out Bible with lots of annotation, nice engraved drawings of 
    biblical events, and beautiful maps in the back displaying the Holy Land and 
    the "Ancient World", but still, it's the stereotypical "square one" of 
    scholarship. The implication is that only a country bumpkin would use a Bible 
    as a navigational resource. It would in fact be quite similar to the 
    all-purpose "World Almanacs" which were very popular before the rise of the 
    Internet among people who wanted to know 'facts'. The 70s version of this 
    "sea story" has the hapless navigator looking for Bimini in the "World 
    Almanac" (if I remember correctly, but since it was thirty years ago... 
    well... you know what happens to memory...), and the clear intention is to 
    say without saying so that this person is a country bumpkin. It makes for a 
    vivid story. 
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