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    Re: GPS and uncloaking
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2003 Feb 9, 20:46 -0500

    I agree with you Mr. Tait.
    I am a firm proponent of the sextant and magnetic compass but the one
    electronic gadget that I can't imagine being without is radar (and sonar). I
    can remember several trips where the fog was down to the carpet and the only
    way to spot huge icebergs was with our radar.  GPS only goes so far in terms
    of a safe passage.
    Having visited the Orkney Islands a few years ago I can only imagine the
    brutal conditions with which you folks must contend. I have to say I was
    really impressed with the boat designs. I wandered around the dock area one
    day and noticed a lot of small fishing vessels have adopted the canoe stern
    design. That says a lot about the local conditions.
    Had the pleasure of meeting a few of the search and rescue folks and even
    got a tour of their incredible rescue boat. I came away with the feeling
    that the mariners in northern Scotland are amongst the best in the world.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Charles Tait 
    Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 12:07 PM
    Subject: Re: GPS and uncloaking
    > Hi there
    > I have been silently following the delurkers.  Surely the real thing
    > with all technology is to properly understand the interface and how the
    > data is presented as well as how it works in a basic way.  This applies
    > whether one is trying to use an astrolabe, modern sextant, GPS, or
    > whatever.  It is quite easy to get lost with a properly working, but
    > badly programmed or interpreted GPS.  And of course the British Navy
    > quite often made serious navigational errors before they knew about how
    > to get their longitude accurately.
    > We have done lots of yacht trips around the north and west of Scotland,
    > always using the electronics as back up to our "real" navigation.
    > However when the pea soup fog rolls in here in Orkney I can assure you
    > all that there is nothing to beat radar!  Also I would echo the comments
    > on astro navigation.  Around Scottish waters I think generally it would
    > be hard to navigate safely with a sextant, because the reliability of
    > getting a fix can be 0% so often.  We have found that the number of
    > occasions to actually get a useful position this way has been close to
    > zero, but the fun in doing it still justifies trying.
    > On a completely different tack we are looking at the next major lunar
    > standstill in 2006 and will be attempting to observe putative alignments
    > at various UK stone circles and other ancient places.  These include
    > Brodgar in orkney, Callanish on Lewis, as well as other places.
    > relurking...
    > --
    > Charles Tait Photographic Limited, Kelton, St Ola, Orkney, UK  KW15 1TR
    > Tel 01856 873738  Fax  01856 875313  Mobile 07785 220269
    > All outgoing and incoming mail is checked by Norton Antivirus 2003
    > email  charles.tait{at}zetnet.co.uk
    > website http://www.charles-tait.co.uk

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