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    Re: What's on your bookshelf?
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2006 Sep 9, 19:22 -0500

    Upon reflection, what is striking about this list is that, while
    extensive enough, how narrow the focus is directed. It would seem to
    reflect an assumption that nav is a purely technical exercise. There
    is nothing about tides, ocean currents, prevailing winds, weather
    patterns, knots, rigging, etc. Those with a bent for air or land nav
    would presumably also have a wider field of relevant interests to draw
    upon.

    When I look at my shelves there may be less tomes containing basically
    the same information but many more books about history and
    anthropology and map making and boat maintenance and tales of those
    who have sailed the waters in all sorts of craft across a time span of
    about 5,000 years. While what they have done and how obstacles were
    overcome are certainly instructive (and entertaining) the things they
    should never have done (with the benefit of hindsight) are of even
    more value and interest.

    Doesn't dw have the right to make his focus of interest as narrow as
    he likes? Of course. Many of the contributors to this list seem to be
    attracted to nav as a practical expression of a bent for mathematics
    and technical tools. Nothing wrong with that, in itself.

    The dangers of this approach when at sea where interest can never be
    holistic enough is illustrated by a cautionary tale from local waters,
    where a speedy boat went offshore and had a lovely time zooming about,
    hither and thither. When it was time to go home the GPS was consulted,
    the appropriate course selected and at 20 knots they rammed a reef
    that lay along the track, killing the occupants.



    On 9/9/06, dw <waldendand@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    > I've been curious what references others on the list have on their
    > shelves at home and why.  It seemed only fair to give a shot at it
    > myself first.  I had started to do Astronomy books as well, but things
    > were getting out of hand.
    >
    > Anyone else?
    >

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