A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Mark Coady
Date: 2016 Apr 2, 11:53 -0700
I in fact have an 1872 copy which identifies itself as a reprint of the 1868. I picked it up a few years back in Salem, MA. In pretty decent shape.... I would comment that portions of it, in regards to clarity of expresson and readability in places are quite a challenge. If that was my only source of info I'd be in rough shape. I could be wrong...as it may be me that's impeaching my own intelligence....but I suspect the more ordinary seamen of the day might have found it similarly challenging.
I just added an ebay 1958 edition for 30 bucks....with the orignal buyers purchase receipt inside and all...brand new condition. I read some last night in the celestial section and found it pretty clear.
(I also have my 2002 and my fathers 1981 set).
The most difficult was the 1868, and most disapointing was the 2002, as much was lost in favor of modernism. The 2002 also has a lamentable index compared to the 58 or 81 editons I have. You have to know stuff is there to find it.
I did find other references I have bought, standards like Dutton, Self Contained Celestial Navigation with Ho 208, etc...and other more eclectic things, a big help in clarifying things.
People with a knack for stating things clearly and simply are not always easy to find. (PS thats why I love sitting in your classes).
The hardest thing I find as I dig deeper is trying to distinguish between repetitive dogma from unilateral thinkers who copy each others advice, and real world modern and historical techniques and alternatives and why we choose between them.
Ultimately I would submit I am trying to formulate a summary of techniques from the 19th century through today, that a practical man would draw on for real life situations, adapting and evolving for the conditions and tools at hand.
Putting things in the historical contexts of ordinary people doing the dangerous work of ocean voyages I find helpful. Reality has a way of refining things to a preference for efficient reliability, although embracing such too vehemently also stifles innovation.