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    Re: Slocum's lunars
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2003 Dec 15, 09:38 -0500

    Up through Chapter 12, searching on the words latitude, Sun & meridian,
    I found the following references to noon sites:
    Chapter III:  "At the meridian altitude of the sun I called aloud,
    "Eight bells," after the custom on a ship at sea."
    Chapter IV:  "A meridian altitude and the distance on the patent log,
    which I always kept towing, told me that she had made a true course
    throughout the twenty-four hours."
    Chapter XI is the discussion of lunars.
    I will keep note of further mention of sights as I progress through the
    I see no evidence in the book, to that point, that Slocum was not using
    lunars on a regular basis, and some, that I have pointed out, that he
    was.  Again, it appears in Chapter XI that Slocum was bragging about
    finding an error in tables, which is why the lunar was mentioned.  It
    is quite easy to imagine the typesetter inserting the wrong column of
    type on a page, contrary to what has been argued here: it would depend
    on whether the type were assembled by row or by column.  It would not
    surprise me if columns of numbers were assembled by column.
    I believe you have twisted the evidence into pretzels to support your
    hypothesis that Slocum only shot one lunar.  When he says he was not a
    slavish practitioner, I believe he is merely saying he did not shoot
    lunars once or twice a day, as Bowditch recommends, but rather when he
    considered them necessary.  When he mentions running down the latitude,
    he is bragging about his course not varying much even though he did not
    steer by the compass, since he could steer so easily by the stars
    combined with the relatively constant wind direction.  This would be
    contrary to normal naval procedure, but was a perfectly workable
    procedure for an experienced mariner who answered to nobody but god.
    It is essentially a large part of the Polynesian/Micronesian method of
    On Dec 15, 2003, at 12:58 AM, Frank Reed wrote:
    > Fred asked:
    > "Where is the evidence that Slocum ever took a sight of the sun or a
    > star to find his latitude?"
    > There are quite a few direct references to Noon Sun latitudes in
    > SAATW. Download a copy of it and do a search on the words latitude,
    > Sun, meridian. You should be able to find most all of them.
    > Slocum probably did not use stars for latitude. Nineteenth century
    > navigators rarely used stars.
    > Frank E. Reed
    > [X] Mystic, Connecticut
    > [ ] Chicago, Illinois

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