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    Re: Joshua Slocum's navigational methods
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2005 Apr 17, 23:51 EDT

    I wrote earlier:
    "That's what one would  normally use for celestial navigation, lunars or
    otherwise, in that era. Or  is that what you meant? Those trig tables would
    be found in any of the  standard navigational manuals of the era. Perhaps he
    had Bowditch's  "Practical Navigator" or more likely Norie's "Epitome of
    Navigation" (since  it's established that he taught himself navigation
    originally --decades  earlier-- from Norie)."
    And Dan Hogan you replied:
    "Or more likely a  set of Trig Tables like "six place tables"."
    I'm not sure I'm  understanding the distinction you're making here. You do
    agree that Slocum  probably had a Bowditch or a Norie with him right? Do you
    think he would have  needed tables *beyond* the ones in one of those standard
    navigation manuals?
    And also:
    "Well Slocum was a very experienced seaman and a LOT of the  old time
    sailors I knew did not know how to swim."
    Right. I agree now  that the ability to swim has no bearing on Slocum's
    prudence of lack thereof.  But what would a prudent man do? You suggest that it
    would have been prudent to  do lunars now and then (and prudent navigators with
    cargoes at risk in the early  19th century took lunars every two weeks or
    occasionally a little more often so  that's about right). But we already know, I
    think, that Joshua Slocum wasn't  particularly "prudent" since he wasn't willing
    to hand over a few bucks to get  his chronometer fixed up. He could have
    navigated scientifically with the best  available tools of late 1890s celestial
    navigation, but he didn't.

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