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    Taken aback
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2002 Oct 21, 05:13 +1000

    Am enjoying this thread on the finer points of turning a square rigger.
    Of course far from being enthusiasts the crews of those good ole days
    were often shanghai-ed, men from (literally) the gutter who may have
    fallen down drunk and found themselves the next morning not just
    hung-over but with a whole new career before the mast. They were
    unlikely to be capable of reading and writing, let alone having enjoyed
    any other education, yet some of them succeeded in rising through the
    ranks and even acquiring their own commands. That this was most likely
    to happen by treachery and violence is not the point here, they had to
    learn to navigate and it is a credit to them that they did, by hook or
    by crook. Of course this may have meant little more than running a DR
    log and taking a noon sight for latitude when they could. My favourite
    story is of one of these old scoundrels who would sit happily in the sun
    with his wooden leg crossed over the other, and reduce his sight with a
    pencil on the timber. It was all he seemed to need, the rest -
    declination and so forth - was (according to legend) carried in his
    head.
    
    Usually he was in no hurry. However my own sails were taken aback by
    
    Dan Hogan wrote: 'find a technique/system that you are comfortable with
    and practice with it until you can reduce and plot a FIX in five(5)
    minutes'
    
    Wow.  For a 3 body fix 5 minutes would be about right using the
    electronic nav. calculator; but to begin with, using my own pencil would
    take a few days, an hour or so at a time as opportunity and
    concentration permitted. I was feeling pretty happy about now being able
    to do the whole process in an hour or so. At sea my routine is to reduce
    the evening sights with the calculator, but in the morning like to
    spread all my books etc over the main table (those nav. desks are far
    too small) and reduce and plot and plan away in a scene of increasing
    disorder until I am thrown out, which I am ashamed to say is inevitable
    come lunchtime. I'd better keep practising.
    
    Coastal nav. gets done on the spot, LOPs plotted right onto the chart
    with a soft pencil. We are lucky to have mild tides, I know the strong
    tidal flows of some places complicate coastal navigational calculations
    greatly.
    
    
    'When you start on your journey to Ithaca,
    then pray that the road is long,
    full of adventure,
    full of knowledge  ................
    
    that the summer mornings are many,
    that you will enter ports seen for the first time
    with such pleasure,
    with such joy!'       (Kostas Kavafis)
    
    
    

       
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