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    Direction of travel of the Nav-L list.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2003 Jun 8, 20:40 +0100

    Jim Thompson wrote-
    >Yet another fascinating thread, everyone -- thank you.  This is a very
    >distracting discussion list!  The light you are shining on these historical
    >personalities is very bright indeed.
    >I am spending the morning projecting tides and currents on the outbound
    >route of our coming summer cruise to the Bras d'Or Lake.  I don't want to
    >make the kids and family dog too sick during the potentially rough crossing
    >from Charlottetown to Canso Strait, especially around Cape George.  C&L's
    >navigation might not have been up to snuff, but their accomplishments in an
    >age before electronics, engines and medicine certainly put my menial travel
    >worries to shame.
    Jim's message made me think a bit.
    I have a great affection for our Nav-L list. (thinking of it as ours,
    recognising Dan as the kind host and owner). It's evolving, over the years,
    to becoming primarily devoted to the HISTORY of navigation, of one sort or
    another. In a way, that's right up my street. I recognise myself as one of
    those responsible for pushing it in that direction. To some extent, it's an
    inevitable consequence of the takeover of modern navigation by electronics.
    Traditional navigation is now history, to a great extent, I fear.
    But it's a pity, all the same, if ordinary navigators are discouraged from
    airing their own interests in how to get their boat from A to B, and feel
    overawed by the present historical  bias of our list. I enjoy a change; for
    example, the recent lively thread about boat-handling under power. Should
    we, and could we, broaden our discussions to include more of that sort of
    talk? That's how it was when I joined, several years ago now.
    I'm not proposing that we should, or could, or would wish to scale down our
    content about navigational history. It's clear we have attracted many
    participants with special knowledge, who enjoy a lively discussion, and
    that aspect of our list is going well. How can we encourage other ordinary
    navigators to "muck in" once again, to the extent that they did? I think
    the Silicon Sea series of exercises was attractive, and perhaps Dan has an
    idea how many participants there were, and whether the numbers justified
    the effort involved.
    Do others agree that there's been a significant redirection of our list? Is
    it a fact of life we should accept and welcome? Should we, can we, do
    anything to rebalance it? Am I imagining a problem that doesn't really
    exist? What does Dan Hogan think?
    contact George Huxtable by email at george@huxtable.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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