A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Bob Goethe
Date: 2016 Mar 3, 16:27 -0800
>>One thing I must ask of you...is the assumed purpose of this hypothetical one-hour talk..... is it to give them -- within an hour's time -- a technique they could use with no further study required for emergency navigation?<<
Zero percent of the people will own a sextant already. So if we humans forget procedural instructions that we have no opportunity to use, then pretty much everybody is guaranteed to have forgotten any/all techniques I attempt to teach 48 hours after the presentation is over.
I think I am leaning toward a historical overview...to set out the nature of the navigator's task on a spherical earth, and the importance of correct time in determining position. Historical overview could include backstaff and quadrant, latitude sailing, the Longitude Prize and Harrison's chronometers. A PowerPoint slide showing two circles of position intersecting will probably be helpful. I am starting to clarify my objectives as:
That at the end of the hour, the participants will have a sense of what is meant when people speak of "celestial navigation", and of what its importance has been in the history of trade and exploration. Further, that participants will be aware that there are those who enjoy practicing celestial navigation even in this GPS era.
I have never considered Robert's analogy of the train with the extremely accurate schedule running along the coastline. It is intriguing!! This is the kind of thing that I turn over in my mind while shaving...so my best thoughts on this will not occur until tomorrow morning.
I am really appreciating the interaction between you all. So while my objectives for the hour are still morphing (frankly, I end up liking EVERYBODY'S suggestions at the moment I read them), they have more form to them now than they did two days ago.