A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Tim Ingham
Date: 2022 Jul 30, 22:55 -0700
Frank, you wrote "What draws you to this topic of historical latitudes and longitudes? Do you have a goal in mind? Just general interest?"
Basically it would come under the heading of general interest. As a mechanical engineer, long retired, I am used to checking facts and numbers that seem to me to be a bit suss. A few years ago a motoring magazine published a photo of a gas pump, with the price, quantity dispensed and total clearly displayed. Problem was the numbers didn't add up. The magazine explained the reason. The price had just been changed that morning but the other 2 registers hadn't been cleared or reset. What bothers me is what kind of person finds it necessary to check! Hang on a sec.....what am I saying?
As well as being an amateur sailor, I have always been an omnivorous reader and armchair traveller. Enjoying books such as Peter Freuchen's arctic travels (factual but perhaps some embroidery) or Horatio Hornblower's reference to taking lunars to confirm his approach to the Gulf of Fonseca (fiction, but I'd love to visit that part of the world. The arctic not so much - Kirkenes in summer was cold enough.) Equally interesting, the purpose of the Transit of Venus and the West Australian Outback surveyor, Len Beadell, who, if I remember correctly, reckoned he had located his position by the stars with a maximum probable error of 85 feet. Ok, he had a national reputation (he surveyed the famous Gunbarrel Highway) and he would have been using a top class theodolite, but ... and I don't have the necessary knowlege to judge the credibility of his claim.
Discovering Navlist, and its resources section, I found not only my old and much beloved friend, Bowditch, but also Lecky. How could one resist a title like "Wrinkles". A bit of browsing and I'm in trouble with a simple, unplanned enquiry into "very accurately determined positions".
So it looks like back to school. How do the workshops operate - like a zoom meeting? Early morning start (the following day) would seem to be ok for timing. Do you have any planned for later this year?
I hope this hasn't gone too far Off Topic.
Kind regards, Tim. I.