Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Azimuths
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2019 Jul 3, 12:45 -0400
    Hi David

    I meant that in the sense that he isn't an ocean navigator.  Of all the voyages you mentioned, someone else navigated the vessel.  He did not.  He was a passenger.

    There is no denigration in observing the obvious.  Nevil spent an extraordinary amount of time thinking about navigation and far, far less time applying it in a practical sense, if at all.  He is an intellectual giant, and his contribution to navigation spectacular, yet it is hard to call him a navigator.  He absolutely was the Astronomer Royal, spending a tremendous amount of time staring at the sky.  Yet the Greenwich Observatory isn't navigable.

    That, in my view, makes most of us  armchair theorists.  In navigating, for the most part, we don't rely on CN, we rely on GPS.  Nevil didn't have GPS, but he also didn't navigate the vessel.    

    Hopefully, that explains my classification of Nevil Maskelyne as an armchair theorist.  An outstanding one!


    If we are to permit trips, then hey, once I sat in airliner seats as I flew around the world in 9 days as a passenger, holding a handheld GPS.  Does that make me a world navigator? (That bit was meant to be a joke, hopefully it is seen that way.)

    On Wed, Jul 3, 2019, 8:03 AM David Pike <NoReply_DavidPike@fer3.com> wrote:

    Brad you wrote:

    Nevil Maskelyne was an indoor theorist

    Was he?  What about his trip to St Helena in 1761 to observe the transit of Venus, and incidentally to try out his ideas on lunars;  his trip to Barbados in 1763 to observe Jupiter’s satellites and test Harrison’s watch, Mayers Tables, and Irwin’s chair; and his trip to Schiehallion in Perthshire to measure the density of the Earth.  As Astronomer Royal he would have spent a lot of time gazing skywards from the house on the hill at Greenwich, and as a cleric his soul might have been aiming even higher.  DaveP

    View and reply to this message

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site