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    Re: American navigation.
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Oct 31, 23:43 -0700

    Douglas Denny, you wrote:
    "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? "
    
    Well that's right. It's all about the p.r. If you "spin it" as traditional 
    navigation, a navigator "in tune" with his surroundings, then the simplest 
    chart is quite sufficient as long as it has the bare minimum of latitude and 
    longitude lines in the right places and a scale sufficient to pick off the 
    coordinates. 
    
    But if you have bad p.r. and you get a nickname like 'Captain Calamity' well, 
    then you're just another idiot who doesn't belong on the water. Of course, 
    the latter C.C. does really sounds like an idiot, and he manages to get 
    himself so much attention that I suspect he's more of a performance artist or 
    a simple attention hound than a future mariner (or future marine casualty).
    
    Back to the story that George related, which may be true or may have been just 
    a "sea story", it tells us nothing about the state of "American navigation" 
    (the title George gave to the thread). It's only an example of something that 
    the author considered an extreme, possibly absurd case. I suppose it's worth 
    noting that Joshua Slocum also visited Gibraltar just about twenty years 
    before this supposed cod merchant. Was he crazy? Maybe. But he clearly was 
    not an example of standard American navigation in that era. He was 
    fascinating precisely because he was so exceptional.
    
    -FER
    
    
    
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