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    Re: Carry on, Mr. Bowditch
    From: John McKeel
    Date: 2003 Jan 16, 08:57 -0700
    RE: Carry on, Mr. Bowditch

    Dear Jan,

    Thank you for your very clear contributions. It would be helpful to me (and to others on the list I'm sure) if we had the links to all four of George's postings on lunars.

    Thanks in advance!
    John McKeel
    Phoenix, AZ

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Jan Kalivoda [mailto:jan.kalivoda@FF.CUNI.CZ]
    Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 2:16 AM
    Subject: Re: Carry on, Mr. Bowditch

    Dear David,

    let me try to answer your questions one by one.

    It is absolute nonsense that before Bowditch, the lunars were useful to seamen only in the moments of a star occultation by Moon. In contrast, occultations were never used for navigational purposes at sea. The only theoretical reason for using a sextant for observing occultations is its telescope - but to use a the stand-alone one would be more simple. In this point the Bowditch story you have cited is quite unreliable and ridiculous. You must hope that in other things it is correct, but ... (I didn't read


    The assertion that only Bowditch's method made the use of lunars possible for ordinary seamen is motivated by the national pride a bit. Of course, it is claimed in all editions of American Practical Navigator I have known. It is only matter of taste and nationality.

    If you search for a clear and precise explanation of lunars, take the text of George Huxtable (in four parts) that has been published in this list as the best. If you want, I can send it to you privately. A bit of spherical astronomy and trigonometry is necessary for understanding it, of course. If some elucidation without any computations and formulas is wanted in this list, I can try it.

    A trial for a summary of relations between lunars and chronometer methods during the past (including the impact of chronometer prices) was sent to this group by me - I excuse me for referring to myself: http://www.i-DEADLINK-com/lists/navigation/0301/0054.html

    Yours, Jan Kalivoda
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