A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Edward Falk
Date: 2022 Sep 4, 13:11 -0700
Hi; thanks for the info.
I guess I've probably been wasting my time reading that edition of Bowditch. Frankly, I very much doubt that in real life, I could read lunar distance with a sextant to the accuracy that would make this method worthwhile.
I've also been reading Huxtable's "about lunars" which uses Borda's method, and that doesn't seem quite so bad. I'll also look into Thomson’s method. I'd been planning on writing a post asking if anybody knew where the tables in Bowditch came from, but I think I'll pass now.
The background of my interest: I was on this list a couple decades ago, and a post went out that the BBC was going to re-create Cook's voyage to Australia on the Endeavor. They needed a navigator and were reaching out to this list for one. Seemed nobody could afford the six weeks off of work to do it, but I could, so I applied for the job and it even went so far as the interview stage. (They told me that they couldn't hire someone outside the EU.) In anticipation, I read everything I could about the original voyage, and discovered that they'd used the lunar method on that trip. It was then that I realized I was well and truly over my head, and it's a good thing they didn't hire me. Recently, I've gotten back into it.
On 9/2/22 7:45 PM, Modris Fersters wrote:
Hi, Edward Falk!
You wrote: /“//Without a calculator, it's hella complicated. I've been
reading the 1902 edition of Bowditch lately. The corrections include
referencing 13 different tables. With a calculator, it's not so bad.”/
You are absolutely wrong about complexity of lunar calculations “in
paper format”. You studied 1902 edition of Bowditch. This edition
contains Chauvenet method of clearing lunars. This method is very
accurate, but was seldom practised, because it was invented after lunars
were popular at sea (and I also think— because this method is realy
quite odd and complicated).