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    Re: CN rendez-vous?
    From: Geoffrey Kolbe
    Date: 2014 Apr 19, 08:54 +0100

    "Let's see a show of hands. Who would attend?" -FER

    Yes, I would come. Some exploding volcano prevented me coming last time, and there is always the risk of WWIII breaking out which might prevent me journeying across the Atlantic in the near future.... But I enjoy the events.

    I think it was Gary who likened meetings of Cel Nav enthusiasts to that other group of asocial beings, radio hams. 'Hamfests' are very popular and well attended events - but what most radio amateurs really go to such events for is the opportunity to buy radio 'stuff' at the numerous tables and stands where books, components, second hand gear, and the latest brand new gear can be browsed and bought. 

    This is one key element that seemed to have been missing from past 'Celestial Navigation Weekends'. It may be that the location within the Mystic Seaport museum prohibited such an arrangement. If that is the case, it is an argument for another venue. I should comment that even the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich allowed a table at the latest conference where sumptuously produced books dedicated to that great explorer, adventurer, inventor and navigator, L Ron Hubbard, were for sale..... What is OK for the NMM is surely OK for Mystic Seaport?

    If Celestaire had a stand, and we could entice Starpath Publications over from Seattle, and there was a 'Bring and Buy', I think that would make for a more attractive event. But the event also needs to be held at regular intervals to build up a following so that a critical mass of attendees is attained and everybody makes some money.

    I think Frank fears that there is not enough people out there interested in Cel Nav to ever attain that critical mass at such an event. That may have been true in the past, but I recall Ken Gebhart saying that sextant sales are increasing year-on-year and it may well be true that Cel Nav as a hobby is increasing in popularity. 

    It is fun and much more pleasant to write with messy fountain pens rather than convenient-but-boring ball-point pens. It is fun to wear a mechanical watch, which does not keep time to a second a year - or even a second a day - and needs fussing with every day to keep it going. Sales of both are up. 

    It is fun (as Frank says) to be totally self reliant on finding where you are on the planet in this age of ubiquitous and bog-reliable GPS, using methods which depend on mastering the use of neat looking scientific instruments and also having the skill to cope with the variable nature of celestial bodies as they come and go or are covered by clouds. It would not surprise me if Cel Nav was a hobby on the rise.

    Dr Geoffrey Kolbe, Riccarton Farm, Newcastleton, Scotland, TD9 0SN
    Tel: 013873 76715
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