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    Re: Fwd: Indistinct Horizon
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 May 2, 10:48 -0700

    Richard, you wrote:
    "Haven't heard back from Frank on this yet, so I'm sending it to the
    whole list for any info."

    I checked my mail for April 27 again just now. I have not received any email from you recently. Maybe a typo in the email address you used?

    I have been experimenting for a week with a "Live Help" chat system on my various web sites. I've decided to set it active on the NavList web site just now (as an experiment). If it works, it may prove useful. I don't think it can be accessed from touchscreen devices like smartphones and tablets at this time.

    You wrote:
    "Went to search the NavList archives for any discussion of "indistinct horizon" and ran into the following error: Invalid URL
    The requested URL "/search?q=indistinct+horizon&sitesearch=fer3.com", is invalid."

    That error refers to the google search itself (not the NavList web site). Can you tell me what sort of device and web browser you were using? When a browser "loses" the first part of the address, it usually has something to do with what's called "relative addresssing" but this is highly browser-dependent. The correct address should have been:

    See how that works? Same address but with www.google.com in front. Note that this google search of the NavList archives can be accessed directly from the google home page. It is no more and no less than a "site specific" search. So take any words you want to search on, go to google and enter your search terms followed by 'site:fer3.com'. That's all it takes! Since you want posts that reference the specific phrase "indistinct horizon", you should put that in quotes (otherwise you get any posts the mention indistinct OR horizon). Unfortunately, google's site-specific capabilities have declined in the past five years so this is less and less useful. I am considering a more brute-force solution. Google is busy with smart eyeglasses and robot cars. Search doesn't much interest them anymore...

    And yes, indistinct horizons are a killer. The visibility and reliability of the horizon is the single largest limiting factor in standard celestial navigation. There is no easy way out of this. If the problem is light fog or haze (or "vog" or "smog" or other "oggish" thing), you could try the old 19th-century standard trick: get down low. If your height of eye is 9 feet, the horizon is only three and a half nautical miles away (square root of h in feet, plus 20%) and that may be close enough to give you a more distinct horizon.


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