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    Re: Back sights.
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Mar 20, 17:52 -0700

    Bill B., you wrote:
    "If I recall, I have read a mention of backsights being used aboard naval
    vessels when other vessels blocked the view they wanted. I do not
    recall the specifics."

    I can't recall hearing that specific story, but it's possible. The most obvious case where back sights would come in handy is in the early era of exploration when there were still real terrae incognitae (pardon my French) --basically before the 19th century. If you were sailing along the southern coast of some large island, either uncharted or poorly charted, in the South Pacific with the Noon Sun to the north of you, you had few options for getting latitude easily. In those cases, it might be simplest to use the back sight. During the 19th century, at least after about 1825, they were irrelevant since very nearly every latitude was known reasonably well except for the very smallest Pacific and Indian Ocean islands.

    -FER

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