A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Robert Eno
Date: 2015 Oct 20, 10:41 -0600
You were spot on in your first post Francis.
Folks who spend a great deal of time in the hinterlands and/or at sea, pride themselves on their ability to be self-reliant. I know I do but just as I am getting on my high horse and feeling all pleased with myself on my rugged individuality and ability to go it on my own, I am brought back to earth by the sobering fact that every single implement that I have and that contributes to my survival is manufactured and transported to me though a vast support network requiring hundreds and thousands of other humans. Even the old mountain men who were at the pinnacle of self-reliance, had to meet up once or twice per year at a big “rendezvous” to trade their furs, replenish their ammunition and staples and enjoy the contact of other humans.
The fact is, we humans are pack animals. Our survival depends on the collective efforts of other humans. Going on our own would only lead to a miserable and primitive existence. The most successful venture ever undertaken by humans, the Apollo Space Program, involved over 400,000 people, and this does not include the 200,000,000 American taxpayers who footed the bill.
So I guess the best that one can hope for in the way of “self-contained” is to have a system that will last you for a long time and until you can rendezvous with your fellow bipeds for resupply.
We are an odd species. On the one hand, we are individuals but our tendency is to act collectively almost as a “super brain” to achieve some remarkable things. Humans just were not designed to go it alone.
With apologies to the group for this philosophical diversion. Now back to self-contained astro-navigation…..
From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Francis Upchurch
Sent: October-20-15 5:17 AM
Subject: [NavList] Re: Quartz article: reinstating celestial...
Replying to my own last post!
If we had homemade sextants, watches and basic self generated sun dec and EOT tables, + home made reflector telescope and Jupiter moon tables (for correcting the watch on land in distant parts), then we would have nearly a "self contained" cel nav system.
I say "nearly", because we would still need accurate charts, without which, knowing lat and long is a bit pointless.
I've no idea how you could have good worldwide accurate charts without the cast of hundreds/thousands you have already hinted at.
So for me, it is the charts that are the impossible thing for the lone navigator to be truely "self sufficient".
Still good fun.