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    Re: Lunars class
    From: Hewitt Schlereth
    Date: 2014 May 15, 11:52 -0700

    Nice, Frank. Very effective writing.. As chance would have it, I am
    planning to teach Lat & Lon by the noon sight this summer via the San
    Diego Maritime Institute. Here's the current draft of my flier.
    PS I was thinking of calling the course The Joy of Sextant, but wiser
    heads prevailed.  :-)  H
    On May 15, 2014, at 9:31 AM, "Frank Reed"  wrote:
    > ________________________________
    > Navigation: LUNARS Class May 24-25
    > This is a copy of an email invite I sent out for a class. It won't be 
    relevant to most of you outside the area, but I thought you might be 
    interested in reading...
    > Next weekend, May 24-25, 2014, I will be teaching a class in "lunars" or 
    "longitude by lunar distance observations" at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, 
    Connecticut. We'll be learning about both the history and the actual practice 
    of lunars today. In "lunars" the Moon was used as a great natural 
    chronometer, a clock in the sky, that could be read by sextant observations 
    to determine time. Until chronometers became widely available at reasonable 
    prices, lunars were an important component of celestial navigation. Lunars 
    were used regularly in the 1840s on the first voyage of the whaleship Charles 
    W. Morgan (the centerpiece of Mystic Seaport's collection, now preparing for 
    a summer tour of New England ports dubbed the "38th Voyage" by Mystic 
    Seaport). Lunars were also widely used by most of the great explorers of the 
    late 18th and early 19th centuries including James Cook on his exploration 
    voyages in the Pacific and William Bligh on HMS Bounty. We'll learn how they 
    and other navigators, including Nathaniel Bowditch, the famous American 
    navigator and mathematician, used lunars to sail the oceans.
    > Lunars are not dead. We'll really be looking at modern usage of lunars, 
    including their surprising use aboard the Skylab space station in the 1970s. 
    Lunars are great fun, and modern navigators and celestial navigation 
    enthusiast can learn the finer details of sextant navigation as well as 
    practicing celestial skills when away from the sea (yes, you can shoot lunars 
    from your backyard). By the end of the weekend, you will all have become 
    LUNARIANS (plus a few lunatics!) if you take this class. As the great 
    circum-navigator Joshua Slocum wrote in 1899:
    > "The work of the lunarian, though seldom practised in these days of 
    chronometers, is beautifully edifying, and there is nothing in the realm of 
    navigation that lifts one's heart up more in adoration."
    > Lunars have been infamous in legend as exceedingly difficult, the mark of a 
    master celestial navigator. You'll learn in this class that this just isn't 
    so. Anyone can learn to shoot and work up lunars, and they were widely used 
    historically. Lunars are easy. But you don't have to tell your friends 
    that... They can still believe that you must be a master navigator if you're 
    a lunarian!
    > This is an intermediate level class, and you would benefit from some 
    familiarity with celestial navigation before taking this class. On the other 
    hand, the majority of the material will be comprehensible without specific 
    background in celestial navigation. The class meets May 24-25 10am-4pm both 
    days. Registration for the class is $100 ($90 for members of Mystic Seaport). 
    To register, please phone the reservations desk, usually manned by Rebecca 
    Shea, in Mystic Seaport's Education department: 860.572.5322 (press 1 at the 
    > I do hope I'll see you there!
    > Frank Reed
    > ReedNavigation.com
    > Conanicut Island USA
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    File: 127766.cruise-cn-1pg.doc
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