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    Re: Modern celestial navigation: when and why?
    From: UNK
    Date: 2015 Feb 13, 20:03 -0000

    I agree with David.

    There is a wonderful  bit on the last page of his excellent   book (David, hope you don’t mind me sending this page?) re the magic of the universe, stars etc and the epic majesty of it all and we can work out where we are with a relatively simple sextant and some clever but simple maths. When is the last time anyone had an overwhelming, epic emotional experience when they pressed a button on a GPS or calculator? The electronic internals are of epic scientific proportions, but not visible or easily emotionally accessible to the human psyche. The celestial orb is and always has been for a hundred thousand years. It is in our genes. Job done. As they say her in Cornwall.

    Keep the faith, fellow believers. Star gazing and simple maths  are good for the soul. The only thing that comes near for me is medicine, my other thing. Pressing buttons is banal and soul destroying.



    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of David Barrie
    Sent: 13 February 2015 19:22
    To: francisupchurch@gmail.com
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Modern celestial navigation: when and why?


    I've been following this discussion with interest.  Of course it's still possible to imagine circumstances in which knowing how to use a sextant might save your life or at least your vessel, it's quite a stretch.  Having practised celnav aboard yachts for 40-plus years, I think the strongest arguments for learning (and practising) it are: a) that relying entirely on electronic navigation aids can quickly turn us into dummies - helplessly dependent, mindless consumers of information, which is not only unhealthy it's no fun either; and b) celnav is fantastically rewarding. It's a real eye-opener:  '...using a sextant to find our way puts us in the closest possible touch with the universe at its most sublime' - to quote my own book, 'Sextant'!

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