A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
Re: suggestion for a satisfactory celnav narrative
From: Courtney Thomas
Date: 2005 Jun 1, 14:30 -0500
From: Courtney Thomas
Date: 2005 Jun 1, 14:30 -0500
Thank you Andrew. I would suggest that possibly a satisfactory model might be a website where the current state of the project could be on view to all, with a separate section for suggested modifications, else a plethora :-) of emails might ensue without benefit or structure. Courtney On Wed, 2005-06-01 at 12:47, Andrew Corl wrote: > Dear Frank, Courtney, Jim, and anyone else who cares to read this > > >How many books constitute a plethora?
More seriously, which books have > >you enjoyed? Which did you find less satisfactory? Can you pinpoint any > >features that worked or didn't work for you?? > > For me a plethora of books is over a dozen, and portions of a dozen more. > Specific things that did or did not work out is hard to pinpoint. I would > come to a point where I was frustrated and throw a book across the room. > What I need for learning is a sort of step by step process to do things. > Once I have the process down and can reference one statement, I should be > able to do fine with my navigation. > > Courtney wrote: > >" I'd like to suggest a group project of > >composing a "minimal" narrative of the essentials of celestial > >navigation " > > Frank wrote: > > It's feasible but first you have to define: what is the 'minimal' narrative > of celestial navigation? Latitude and longitude by Noon Sun can be taught in > one long afternoon. That's 'minimal' and you can sail around the world using > it (if you're feeling reckless and choose to leave your GPS at home). But > most navigators who learned the art of celestial navigation in the late 20th > century would be repelled by this choice of 'minimal' cel nav because they > learned, what I call, "apex celestial navigation"--the extremely stable set > of celestial navigation tools and ideas that appeared c.1958 and lasted > through the obsolescence of the system four decades later. This "apex > celestial" takes maybe 8 or 10 long afternoons to learn, and it's naturally > much more involved. Do you need that? Does the student sitting next to you > need that? And the one sitting next to him?? > > My Reply: > > For Courtney, I am raising my hand to help with this. Don't know what I can > do but here is a list of techniques I feel should be in the manual: > Dead Reckoning > Latitude by Noon Sun > Longitude using a shortwave radio and the noon sun > Sextant operation and how to determine the elevation above the horizon of > the sun, moon, star, and planet > Sight reduction using H.O. 249 - method I am presently learning > Sight reduction doing all the math (the "apex of celestial navigation" > according to Frank) > > Feel free to add to it as any and all feel necessary. > > For Frank, I don't think we are attempting to come up with the definitive > text on Celestial Navigation. What I envision this being is a simple and > accurate manual explaining what to do where numbers come from etc., and > maybe not so much emphasis on the theory as to why things work, just that > they do work. Again, I will echo Courtney's comments and operate on the > assumption that we are adults and know something about safety. > > > Frank wrote: > > Generally speaking, there are a thousand different students with a thousand > different skill-sets and educational backgrounds to bring to bear, and each > of those has different goals, too. For each of them, there is a unique, > ideal 'minimal narrative'. Maybe we need an expert system that builds a > textbook based on each student's answers to a dozen questions (I'm serious > --that's a real possibility). In the absence of the perfect text for every > student, there are numerous books that do an excellent job of reaching some > large fraction of celestial navigation student 'population'. Three I can > think of: > Howell's "Practical Celestial Navigation" > Whitney and Wright's "Learn to Navigate" (by the tutorial system developed > at Harvard) > Mixter's "Primer of Navigation" > But that's just three out of dozens and dozens of options... > > My reply: > > Yes there are a thousand different students with a thousand different skill > sets, but let's see if we can come up with something simple and easy to use > that is at least a start to wet the whistle of the interested novice and > challenge the expert to help us all. As to your suggestion of answers to a > dozen different questions, yes I think that is a wonderful idea and should > be put together by those of you who are experts, I am not. The list of > three texts you have suggested, I will look into to help me with my own > problems, who knows maybe one of those will be a "Holy Grail" and suddenly I > will see the light and all will become clear. > > As I said Courtney I am raising my hand to help with this and will attempt > to come up with an outline for some of the problems I am having. As I get > things written I will post them somewhere (not that far yet) and let all of > you "shred" I mean edit the document. > > > Andrew