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    Re: Joshua Slocum's navigational methods
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2005 Apr 17, 23:38 EDT

    Fred you wrote:
    "Frank Reed responded to this  argument claiming that Slocum had not
    uncovered an error in the table but  rather had merely corrected a
    blunder.  I see no reason to suppose that  Frank's claim is true, but
    rather prefer to take Slocum at his  word."
    I take Slocum at his word that he *believed* he had detected an  error and
    corrected it (on the first pass over this topic, you seemed to think I  was
    suggesting he was lying and that is most certainly not what I meant). I take
    Slocum's talk of an "error in his tables" to be a description of a common human
    experience: when we're very good at something and proud of it, but a little out
     of practice, we will tend to blame our tools if anything goes wrong. A
    skilled  carpenter who hasn't built anything in years may blame his saw for a rough
    cut,  and Slocum may have blamed his tables when things didn't go right in
    that lunar  calculation.
    "Given that lunars are a rather difficult  observation and involve a
    different computation than usual, I believe that  Slocum was performing
    them on a regular basis"
    Amazingly enough, there  is direct evidence from Slocum himself --beyond what
    we read in SAATW-- that he  used lunars only once in 24,000 miles at  sea.

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