# NavList:

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

Message:αβγ
Message:abc
 Add Images & Files Posting Code: Name: Email:
Bowditch Table 15
From: Trevor Kenchington
Date: 2005 Jan 23, 00:36 -0400

```I am gradually working my way through Bowditch (1995 edition), trying to
be sure that I understand everything that is relevant to smaller vessels
that the book is really intended for. Most I can follow, sometimes with
a bit of effort, but I am having trouble with Table 15. Since the table
numbers have changed between some editions, Table 15 in 1995 was the one
providing "Distance by Vertical Angle Measured Between Sea Horizon and
Top of Object Beyond Sea Horizon". (That was Table 9 in at least one
edition of Bowditch.)

The text description accompanying the table says that it provides the
distance to the object (by implication: from the observer to the
object), given a knowledge of the difference in height between the
observer's eye and the object, plus a vertical angle measured between
the top of the object and the horizon (that angle being corrected for IE
and dip). [The Bowditch main text doesn't seem to refer to Table 15 and
mixes this business of an object beyond the horizon with the common
business of distance off by vertical angle of an object of known height
whose waterline is visible.]

Table 15 itself does give distances from observer #1 to the object
observed, if the observer #1 has zero height of eye and the top of the
object is just dipping below the horizon. At least, the tabulated
distance then equals the horizon distance for an observer (#2) at the
top of the object, which should be the same thing.

However, if Table 15 was to be believed, as observer #1 climbs the mast
of his boat and increases his height of eye, the object observed would
drop below his horizon (assuming its true distance did not change),
which is obviously nonsensical.

So ... if Table 15 does not give the distance from observer to object,
except in special cases, what does it provide?

I'm guessing that it might be the distance from the object to the
observer's horizon, to which the observer's horizon distance must be
added to get the full distance from observer to object. However, I do
not know of any way to either confirm of refute that idea (save for a
full-scale experiment, which is a bit beyond my resources just now).

Can anyone sort this out for me?

Trevor Kenchington

--
R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555

Science Serving the Fisheries

```
Browse Files

Drop Files

### Join NavList

 Name: (please, no nicknames or handles) Email:
 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:

### Email Settings

 Posting Code:

### Custom Index

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