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    Re: Lindy Line
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2002 Dec 5, 23:41 +0000

    Response from George-
    Aren't we doing well! Five heads are better than one. I now agree with what
    Dan, Aubrey,Rodney, and Bill are saying. My own suggestion for finding the
    shortest distance was too simplistic. I had indeed missed something, by
    ignoring the possibility that under some (but by no means all)
    circumstances the great-circle path between X and the end-points could take
    the vessel nearer the pole than X is. Thanks to the others for pointing it
    I think Bill Noyce's suggestion of solving the problem by using a gnomonic
    chart is the best approach. It is clear that the direct great-circle course
    beteen start and destination is quite irrelevant if it crosses the latitude
    limit, and in that case there's no point in following that great-circle
    anywhere at all.
    For this second shot at it, I addressed the problem by using an analogue
    computer, being a piece of string and a globe of the Earth. The globe is in
    the form of a blow-up beach-ball, 18 inches in diameter. Made in China,
    it's somewhat geographically challenged. For example, the passage between
    the Faeroes and Iceland has, for some reason, been labelled "Damascus", and
    the outlines of continents and islands don't give confidence in any great
    accuracy. It's only a beachball, after all.
    However, if I went in for ocean sailing (which I have no great yen to) I
    would pack that beach-ball (deflated), and the piece of string, in the
    navigator's toolkit, to provide a rough solution to such navigational
    questions. From the 15th century, right up to the 18th, the "use of the
    Globes" was something that mariners were taught, and distances and
    altitudes were derived by measuring across the globe's surface with
    dividers, to some low precision. The other globe was of course the Star
    George Huxtable, 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    Tel. 01865 820222 or (int.) +44 1865 820222.

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