A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Bruce J. Pennino
Date: 2014 Mar 9, 17:25 -0400
----- Original Message -----From: Frank ReedSent: Sunday, March 09, 2014 5:01 PMSubject: [NavList] Re: CWM "38th Voyage" in 2014
Don, you wrote:
" Will you be wearing period costume while aboard?"
Ha! I don't believe so. In fact, the request for proposals specifically stated that they were not looking for re-creationist activities so I steered clear from anything that might suggest that.
And you wrote:
"I am sure that the Captain will schedule the voyage for those dates which are optimal for observing lunars."
Oh of course. I expect that my celestial navigation experiments will be the centerpiece of the voyage. :)
Since folks here may be curious, I'll include my proposal details. Bear in mind that these are general ideas intended to win the position aboard, not necessarily my final plans. Three questions and my answers:
"Q: What important and unique perspective or voice would you bring to the 38th Voyage project?
A: Navigational science. Celestial navigation was a critical, enabling technology of 19th century whaling throughout the Morgan's history. I have taught classes for over four years using navigational details from the logbooks and navigational notebooks of the Morgan as primary source foundational material for motivating celestial navigation education. I also teach multiple navigational methods that are unique and "teachable" to a modern 21st audience.
Q: Describe your proposed project in 500 words or less, including: -goal(s) -connection to the 38th Voyage theme(s) described here (www.mysticseaport.org/38thvoyagers) -preparation plan -plan for capturing impressions or data onboard -the final product -audience you intend to engage and dissemination plan
A: I propose THREE closely related navigational experiments which would be combined with "photo op" celestial navigation exercises. I would bring aboard two state-of-the-art modern sextants, one late 19th century sextant, and one c.1840 octant (all of which I own and use in classes). I plan to conduct traditional 19th century observations using modern and period instruments to compare accuracy under real conditions aboard the Morgan.
First, I will conduct experiments in "lunars" for determining longitude. I am one of the world's leading experts in the science, history, and practice of lunars. Lunars were widely used on the first voyage of the Charles W. Morgan. These observations have rarely been performed in the modern era aboard large sailing vessels, and the quality and practice of observations can lead to a publishable paper on the science of this subject as well as providing unique access to a teachable science topic.
Second, I will conduct experiments in celestial navigation by visual satellite observation. This is a modern method of traditional navigation with accuracy approaching GPS levels. Making such observations from a 19th century vessel would provide an excellent opportunity for media involvement. These observations can lead to a publishable paper as well as a high-quality video presentation. I recommend proposing it for a "TED Conference" presentation since it combines history with modern high-precision navigation.
Further, I would engage other 38th-voyagers to take observations for latitude and local time (time sight observations) as well as determining bearing and magnetic compass variation by astronomical observations. I would also be willing to teach other 38th-voyagers before the voyage in the skills necessary to take such observations (beyond merely going through the motions for the cameras).
Imagery, video, and hard data on observations will be captured on an almost continuous basis.. Final product should consist of two to four medium-length educational videos targeted separately at middle school and adult audiences. Delivery will be by iTunes University or similar. I recommend, but cannot guarantee a "TED Conference" presentation as described above. GPS spoofing/jamming are high interest topics in the year 2014, and modernized celestial navigation has great potential to capture public imagination. In addition, weather and other conditions permitting, the observations should yield elements for two publishable papers (possibly of little interest to Mystic Seaport directly, these could easily have excellent indirect value in follow-up press releases up to a year after the voyage).
Q: What is it about this opportunity that most inspires or intrigues you? (150 words or less)
A: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to teach celestial navigation "on the stage" of a historic vessel. I can imagine no greater opportunity to present the history and science of celestial navigation to a broad audience of all ages. Scenery inspires. This voyage can be leveraged for science education, if we make the effort."
But we will see. If it's cloudy, as I have suggested elsewhere I intend to spend my time lounging in the pool on the Lido Deck (I figure we can fill up one of those big tryworks pots... light a small fire, and ta-da! it's a hot tub).
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