A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David C
Date: 2018 Feb 25, 14:17 -0800
Frank, there is no way of knowing, of course. But what is your hunch about the number of people world-wide who are capable of doing celestial navigation?
By "capable", I mean they are good enough that they can plot an LOP at will, without having to go back to a textbook all over again to work out the steps of doing a sight reduction.
I am confident that I could go outside, take a sight with an artificial horizon (ignoring the 8/8 cloud ) and then calculate the intercept on a calculator without having to RTFM. But does that make me capable of doing celestial navigation? If I was on a small boat in the middle of the ocean or even a large ship could I navigate? The answer is most likely no! I have no practical experience.
As a grumpy old man who joined the internet when usenet was the means of communication I find navlist and similar forums very comforting - a simple means of communication free of the rubbish that is (IMHO) Facebook. FWIIW a while ago on facebook I used the expression AFAIK and had to explain myself to the digital generation.
I suggest that forums such as this are like cell nav. They are dying, being kept alive by a few enthusiasts. Meanwhile I will go back to comparing Bowditch 1996, which I recently purchased, with the 1958 edition. Or maybe buy some more volumes of the Admiralty Manual of Navigation - my aim is to have a complete set from 1916 until the Admiralty was subsumed into the Ministry of Defence (OTTOMH the 1960s?).