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    Re: De Lurk
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2003 Feb 7, 21:54 -0500

    With all this sole baring, I feel compelled to do likewise.  As a
    youth, I used to teach sailing, and got to do a few yacht deliveries
    between Maine and south of the Cape, as a crew or coastal pilot.  Now
    I live inland but have managed to maintain a connection to Maine,
    unfortunately for only two weeks a year.  A few years ago, chartered
    a bare boat up there, but mostly don't sail because the family
    doesn't like it.  I have never sailed offshore, but have a hankering
    to.  So I'm learning celestial and participating in this list; it
    gets me closer to the sea.  I suppose celestial is old fashioned, but
    it'll get you there, and, from my youth, was the way one got around
    on the high seas, and a mark of achievement, to be able to refer to
    oneself as a navigator rather than a pilot.  I find celestial
    absolutely delightful to do, integrating astronomy and precision
    measurement.
    
    On that bare boat charter of a few years ago, the GPS was rigged to
    indicate heading, but it was about 15 degrees out of whack. I found
    it easier to plot a few bearings than to plot GPS lat and long, since
    the GPS wasn't integrated with the chart.  I do recall vividly when
    using the radar, my first exposure to it, that it was like cheating,
    being able to see right through the fog.
    
    Speaking of cheating, when I first undertook celestial, I was
    delighted to be reducing all my sights by hand, using tables, which
    was how I was trained through my undergraduate years.  But now that
    I'm grinding out a fair amount of data to check my sextant and
    technique, I've reverted to computer data analysis (which I do for my
    day job).  It is seductively easier.
    
    Fred
    
    
    

       
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