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    American navigation.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2009 Oct 30, 13:41 -0000

    We have previously discussed the reputation, in the 19th century, for 
    rough-and-ready navigation of American vessels.
    Here's an account from less than a century ago, from a book by H C de 
    Mierre, "Clipper Ships to Ocean Greyhounds". This section was about his days 
    in the British Navy at Gibraltar during World War 1, examining vessels 
    entering the Medittereanean to ensure they contained no enemy contraband.
    "Several small sailing-vessels passed through our hands and one, a 
    two�-masted schooner, a regular banksman, had made the passage across the 
    Atlantic in twelve days. Her Captain was a good-natured, sanguine man, fat 
    as a butter-tub. With his cargo of dried codfish he was bound for Piraeus 
    and the only charts he had were the maps in the back of a large family 
    Bible. "Good enough for Saint Paul. I guess they'll do for me."
    He was, of course, joking about Saint Paul but quite serious in his 
    intention to navigate by the maps in his Bible. However, he gladly anchored 
    for a few hours while I had some real charts sent out from the Naval Chart 
    This is one of two books by de Mierre that I've read recently, and have 
    greatly enjoyed. The other, about his days of apprenticeship in sail, is 
    "The Long Voyage". Secondhand copies are expensive here in the UK, but I see 
    some good-value copies available via Abebooks in the US. He appreciates the 
    technical details, as I do too, and I've learned rather a lot about a 
    mariner's calling in the early 1900s that was quite new to me. Both were 
    written around 40 years ago. Thoroughly recommended; good reading.
    contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    NavList message boards: www.fer3.com/arc
    Or post by email to: NavList@fer3.com
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