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    Re: book - the complete on-board celestial navigator
    From: Phil Guerra
    Date: 2003 Mar 23, 23:36 -0600

    In reply, I'll explain when I said 'briefly read through it...', I did work
    through the book doing and followed the examples, but lacking sufficient
    background, looked elsewhere to gain the prerequisite knowledge.  This is
    not Mr. Bennett's issue, but mine.  I think the Howell book introduces the
    subject in a much better way for the novice, and that's all I'm saying.  So,
    if the tables are troublesome, I'm just suggesting another source to help
    shed some light.
    What it did give me was the desire to understand what he presented in his
    tables, and try to understand what was behind them.  By chance,I found a
    copy of Ageton's Celestial Navigation, and after studying and learning that
    process, Mr. Bennett's book and tables did start to make sense.
    It is concise, and like the Ageton book of its' day, will be a very handy
    book to have on-board.  For the novice, there is no real substitute for a
    good tutor and practical experience, I agree.  However, I began my study of
    Celestial Navigation in this cold winter of the Midwest, and looked to
    books, and reference sources to increase my theoretical knowledge, to that
    end the Howell book served me better for that purpose alone.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Peter Fogg" 
    Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2003 9:32 PM
    Subject: Re: book - the complete on-board celestial navigator
    > HGWorks - Phil Guerra wrote:
    > > First, I'm not a professional navigator, just very interested in
    > > all I can about the subject of celestial navigation.  To that end, I
    > > researching information and collecting books on navigation.  I was drawn
    > > the book you mentioned for the same reason, inclusion of an almanac for
    > > 2003-2007, and hoped that this book would allow me to learn the process
    > > sight reduction.
    > >
    > > I received the book, and briefly read through it.  On page 8, the author
    > > states "Before studying celestial navigation, the reader must be
    > > with such basic navigational quantitative as latitude, longitude,
    > > etc., and be able to plot the passage of a vessel and fix its position
    in a
    > > coastal situation.
    > > Well, gee, that means I bought the wrong book, because I thought part of
    > > studying a subject included not knowing something about it in the first
    > > place.  While I did know the basics regarding latitude, longitude, and
    > > azimuth, I am more than a little fuzzy on the etc. and plotting methods.
    > > thought that this book would clear it up, but I was mistaken.  It is
    more a
    > > book for an experience navigator.
    > It has been said that CN is one subject most people find very difficult to
    > learn from a book and I think this is broadly true. The assumption with
    > book is that the user is at least familiar with coastal nav. which
    > plotting; essentially advancing a position across a chart or plotting
    > according to direction and speed. The rest you seem to have.
    > Perhaps 'briefly read through it' has not done it justice. As in an
    > reply to Gerard Mittelstaedt (which has not been delivered to the list,
    > is a problem here) I think the best way to learn to use the book is to
    take it
    > a little at a time and work through the examples given. Having done that,
    > Silicon Sea series (available through the archives of this list) offers
    > more practice, its a wonderful resource.
    > On learning CN in general, in the 'good ole days' (which were, of course,
    > anything but) essentially uneducated sailors who may have been barely able
    > write learned to navigate because they had to, and learned by rote, and
    > manage to find their way about. In these enlightened ( ! ) days, the
    > is on understanding the process. This does take some mental work, and many
    > people (myself included, I determinedly, but perhaps too briefly, read
    > about CN before taking a course) find this easier in a classroom situation
    > an instructor to guide the group through the process of learning and take
    > effort to make clear concepts that can be difficult to grasp.
    > But having done this, what you need to practise CN is an almanac and a few
    > other bits'n'pieces. What I find so great about this book is that
    > you need has been put together in a handy format.
    > There is more in my earlier reply which hopefully will appear at some

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