A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Roger W. Sinnott
Date: 2017 Dec 31, 16:56 -0500
Further to Wayne Hilliard's post, there's a nice anecdote on page 125 of Bert Willard's fine biography, Russell W. Porter: Arctic Explorer, Artist, Telescope Maker (Freeport, Maine, 1976). One night in about 1920, Porter and Ralph Flanders were camping on a farmer's land somewhere in Quebec. Flanders asked, "Where are we?" – to which Porter replied, "I'll tell you."
He poured some maple syrup into a dish and set it on the fender of their car as an artificial horizon, then got out his sextant. He measured Polaris's altitude, and then he timed with his pocket watch the altitude of another star in the east or west. He pulled a Nautical Almanac from under the car seat, made some calculations, and handed Flanders a slip of paper on which he'd scribbled their latitude and longitude. "That's where we are," he said.