A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Paul Saffo
Date: 2017 Feb 5, 16:59 -0800
I happened to be in Lisbon on business this week, and of course made a point of visiting the local navigational sights, incl the Monument to the Discoveries, the Panels of St. Vincent (in which the Infante Henrique is arguably depicted), and of course the Museu Marinha which has Adm Gago Coutinho's seaplane and other artifacts of his flight on display. Including two sextants with the AH he designed.
I am not unfamiliar with the Coutinho AH as I have a OEM'd Tamaya Plath with the Coutinho AH mounted on it (and yes, it is a nightmare to take a sight with, even on solid ground). But I was surprised to note that the Plath Coutinho is a left-handed sextant -- the ocular and AH are reversed compared to the Tamaya version, and nearly every other sextant I have seen. So am hoping that an expert here could explain why a left-handed sextant might be preferable and whether it has something to do with the Coutinho AH specifically. Photo below. BTW, the other coutinho sextant on display was set up in the conventional arrangement.
And I should add that I am not implying right-handed bias of bigotry, as I happen to be left-handed, and am now curious whether my sights would be more accurate if I had a left-handed sextant! ;-)