A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Peter Fogg
Date: 2005 Jun 5, 01:50 +1000
> From: George Huxtable
> There are some strange comments in Peter Fogg's posting.
> And yet, the whole recorded history of navigation tells us that whenever
> the sky was clear at noon, taking an altitude of the Sun was an inflexible
> rule for any vessel, whether in the tropics or not, in spite of those
> practical difficulties that Peter refers to. Perhaps those navigators were
> made of sterner stuff than he is. Does he have any evidence to show that
> noon sights were ever skimped or avoided in the tropics? I doubt it.
> "Notable by their absence"? Nonsense.
Not entirely sure I referred to the well known historical fact that over a long period of time noon sights were pretty well the only tool in the navigational cupboard and thus had to be made, come what may. Possibly I was alluding, a little too subtly it seems, to the present day when the calibre of navigators has regrettably slipped, and faced with this sad lack of stern stuff BUT OTHER TOOLS!! alternatives can be used.
> Well Shakespeare is hardly a relevant authority to call in aid on such a
> question. The problem about a navigator learning such a bad and inaccurate
> way of determining longitude is that it displaces from his mind the right
> way to do the job.
I'll try again. I am suggesting, George, that 'bad' is an inappropriate word in the circumstances. ‘Right’ is also a bit dodgy. This topic has nothing to do with morality, and everything to do with practical outcomes.