A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
Re: Memory Aid for Marcq St Hilaire Method
From: Stephen N.G. Davies
Date: 2015 Mar 21, 14:54 +0800
Come on chaps, be fair. With yottigators - the most likely to make the error - you have to factor in tiredness, the tendency to go blob-eyed with a cabin bouncing about and nausea impending and so on. And once the mistake has been made, a kind of mental inertia often intervenes to prevent one picking it up.
Someone in the list recalled a story of a navigator ending up in Norway when he had been aiming for Britain. There is a well known 1970s (?) tale of a transatlantic single-hander aiming for the West Indies, who made the same mistake of falling to notice the change of declination. He blithely sailed on, angling ever southwards until he ended up, by this time dehydrated and half starved (and hence incapable of understanding what was happening, leave alone working back to see where he’d gone wrong), beaching his vessel on the coast of Brazil, forlornly using his RDF and concluding that the signal he heard was not that of somewhere near the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil, but somewhere in the West Indies - can anyone remember the case. He was British and wrote a good book that was ruthlessly honest about the lulu.
Dr Stephen Davies
HK Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences,
G08 May Hall
University of Hong Kong
Office: (852) 39175034
Mobile: (852) 66833754
it would be a very poor navigator --or one who was poorly instructed-- who needed help remembering that when the observed angle is higher the observer has shifted "towards" the GP (the point directly under the celestial body). That's "square one" celestial navigation. -Frank Reed
Agreed. If one cannot remember three simple words: "computed greater away", perhaps one should consider a different profession.
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