A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Robert Eno
Date: 2016 Jan 17, 16:21 -0700
Indeed, I have heard this argument many times before and it is a valid one. But the same could be said about damn near any “self-sufficient” means to perform one task or another. What immediately comes to mind is the Mountain Men of the old west who were masters at trapping, hunting and overall survival in a harsh environment, yet for all of their prowess, they still had to come into civilization a few times per year to pick up manufactured goods such as gunpowder or new guns, traps, basic food staples and any other goods that made survival possible.
So I believe one has to view this not so much as true self-sufficiency but more along the lines of different degrees of self-sufficiency and being self-contained such that the time between “re-supply” is greater. So a sextant, watch and tables will last a long time between re-supply if you look after them. Well so too will a GPS until it runs out of juice and you run out of batteries, or if a solar storm or even a minor glitch takes out the satellites.
GPS or Sextant. There are thousands of other human beings performing the specialized task required to procure the materials and produce the manufactured goods.
My two bits’ worth.
From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Frank Reed
Sent: January-17-16 3:17 PM
Subject: [NavList] Celestial a Black Box?
Quoting an experienced navigation instructor:
"I now make it a point to all navigators that sextant, chronometer and tables comprise just as much of a 'black box' as does satellite navigation. Has anyone silvered a mirror lately in an emergency, or perhaps repaired a chronometer? Celestial navigation is merely an old fashioned 'black box' requiring a bit more of the navigator..."
Is this a fair statement today? Is celestial a 'black box'? Just curious to hear opinions on the matter.