A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Jim Rives
Date: 2021 Feb 20, 10:51 -0800
Since Bowditch has come up in conversation I got to thinking of a project I've had in mind for a long while now. From the beginning Bowditch included a set of data for a fictional voyage from Boston to Madeira. A feature which was also offered in Moore-Bowditch Practical Navigator of 1799, though it that book the voyage started in London. I have not yet worked the solutions for the Boston-Madiera trip, but intend to.
My interest lies in trying to get into the head of the skipper/master/navigator of any vessel travelling anywhere in any ocean from the period of about 1300 to 1860 or so. I'd imaging picking a vessel, a voyage, and time, and what ever navigational tools extant at that time. And then going through the voyage to see how much information I could glean from navigational tools available to see how well I could do... could I reach the right port? What were the uncertainties, known and unknown. (Nod to Mr. McNamara). Did I run up on a reef?
Thinking of using a data set like Google Earth and some hydrological data to "create the physical environment", like winds and currents. And observation sets using tools such as astrolabe, cross and back staffs, latitude sailings, periods of inability to take observations, storms, etc. and ongoing dead reckoning.
Doubtless, this would be of interest to a very small group of people... maybe one people. But, if anyone knows of such a thing, I'd love to hear about it.