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A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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    Prose and Poetry and Navigation
    From: Doug MacPherson
    Date: 2016 Apr 26, 23:58 -0700


    In the Northen Hemisphere where I live the sun's altitude recently surpassed 60 degrees at noon and I am now no longer able to use my artificial horizon for an ex-meridian shot.  The sextant typically goes back into it's box at this point, not to appear again until the sun has completed it's trek north, and started its decline in the fall; then the "itch" will begin, and I will find myself again reaching for my Astra IIIb.

    I am an armchair naviagator- for the most part, practicing my art from my city enclosed porch which has a small window of opportunity facing due South.

    I recently came across a wonderful passage describing my experience with the sun most eloquently:

    "A year indoors is a journey along a paper calendar:  a year in outer nature is the accomplishment of a tremendous ritual.  To share in it, one must have a knowledge of the pilgrimages of the sun, and something of that natural sense of him and feeling for him which made even the most primitive people mark the summer limits of his advance and the last December ebb of his decline.  All these autumn weeks I have watched the great disk going south along the horizon of moorlands beyond the marsh, now sinking behind this field, now behind this leafless tree, now behind this sedgy hillock dappled with thin snow.  We lose a great deal, I think, when we lose this sense and feeling for the sun.  When all has been said, the adventure of the sun is the great natural drama by which we live, and not to have joy in it an awe of it, not to share in it, is to close a dull door on nature's sustaining and poetic spirit."

    Henry Beston "The Outermost House"; copyright 1928 The Macmillan Company.

    Over the years I have enjoyed NavList, many contributors have written elequently of their passion for the stars.  Does anyone else have a favorite prose passage or poem that describes thier interest in Celestial Navigation?

    Doug MacPherson

    38-34 N, 121-28 W

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