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  #21  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

I happen to see a big difference between leaving home with 14 GPS devices and using nothing not even a compass
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  #22  
Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
Marvin Creamer a Geography professor at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) did a number of proof of concept crossing of the Atlantic without navigation instruments or charts. The intent was to show that it was possible for early explorers to cross oceans only with knowledge of their environment.
If someone sailed west across the Atlantic and missed the Americas, now that would be impressive.

But sailing west around the globe with the trades and currents all heading in your direction, well . . . . I'm not sure that's all that impressive. He probably didn't care how long it took and (probably) nor was he that concerned about where he made landfall. Given such an open canvas, many things are possible.

I say probably because to be frank, I haven't the interest to read the material. If he mostly made landfall within 30 miles of where he expected to, that would be impressive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
His later circumnavigation, with crew and port stops but with an hour glass as his only navigation instrument was a further demonstration of his hypothesis.
Brave crew, to be sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou452
I did check that he had back up instuments and other reduncey.
Really? What were the back-up instruments backing up? The absence of any instruments? Interesting concept indeed.
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  #23  
Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Sheesh, tough crowd.

I think it's extremely admirable that this guy and his crew circumnavigated using only visual clues to guide them, such as stars, waves, water color, birds, cloud formations, the sun, planets, and currents.

The fact that he had navigational instruments on board but stowed away shows that he was not being reckless and irresponsible. He had a goal in mind and he completed it.
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
But sailing west around the globe with the trades and currents all heading in your direction, well . . . . I'm not sure that's all that impressive.
Actually, looks like he went east, rounding cape of good hope and cape horn.

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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

I cannot believe people are hating on this guy.

Sure, modern navigation tools are great. But if you don't believe that they have become a crutch then you should do a little experiment. Use GPS in your car everywhere you go for one month. Everywhere. After one month, turn it off. You will discover that you pay very little attention to the world around you when GPS is doing all of your thinking for you. You will have trouble even remembering which turns you took to get where you went. You drove until GPS said to turn and you didn't have to make those decisions on your own, therefore there is no reason you would remember making them.


Now, delete every speed dial in your phone. Delete the address book. Make every call by actually remembering and dialing the numbers. Do you remember when that was normal? It is shocking to discover how many numbers you used to know and now you can't even call your wife's phone because you aren't sure of two of the numbers or what sequence they go in. God help you in an emergency situation where you have to borrow someone else's phone. Likely, the only number you'd have in your head is 911.


I'm not saying we should all abandon navigational aids. But I am saying that this man proved that they are all indeed crutches. How much of a crutch depends on your skills and abilities without them.


What good is a sextant if you don't have a book to tell you what the readings mean? What good is a chart without a compass? A chart with no soundings? The answer to each of these depends entirely on what you actually understand versus which references you depend on for that information.

In short, what we call useful tools were developed by someone else. Well, once upon a time nobody had developed them. People still got around. Amazing, isn't it?
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Last edited by ShoalFinder; 02-25-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Oh my but those tracklines spanning the bottom of the Indian and Pacific Oceans look lonely.

And without even the occasional reassurance of a noon sight or bumming a fix by radio from a passing ship to show you where you are. Then you have to worry about making landfall without hitting the land itself, much like the voyages in "the Search for Longitude" back in the days of the testing for a reliable chronometer.
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Much is to be admired here. I am one of those who is much indebted to our modern navigation instruments. We can only marvel even more at the skill of the stone-age Polynesians who, for whatever reason, decided to settle on remote islands (how did they ever find them?) and successfully navigated between distant islands and archipelagos. I read some while ago that a lone surviving Polynesian navigator allowed his "skills" to be recorded for posterity because of the all too real fear that they would soon, and forever be lost. Such knowledge of course cannot be "turned on" by a push-button on an electronic device but takes time to learn and absorb, let alone apply with the confidence needed to ensure (repeated and accurate) safe landfall.
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

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Originally Posted by caberg View Post
Actually, looks like he went east, rounding cape of good hope and cape horn.

If this voyage was done without instruments on the boat then I stand corrected - that is indeed impressive. But it also inspires me to read the material on it because I have reservations.

An example of them is that when he got south of Australia he suddenly turns left and sails straight up to a landfall. This after sailing for at least a month, probably more, completely out of sight of land. I wonder what it was that let him believe that by turning left he was in line with a port on the Australian coast. Remember the claim that he had "an hour glass as his only navigation instrument "

The course that is shown on the chart actually could not have been done better with all the instruments that modern science can muster. Many of the single handed racers that have the best instrumentation and comms that money can buy would be proud of sailing a course this good.

I'm not yet convinced.
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  #29  
Old 02-25-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

One more time if you have to explain they will not understand. I posted about Ernest Shackelton They hated on him and a man that is going to try to do just the sailing voyage this year 100 years later. No surprize this kind of crew thinks going around the world without instruments is.... My my at least check what the man did before you post. Then you will know what back ups and redundecey means. He was not a fool. With some of this attitude why leave dry land. I would not have the stones to try what he did, I should have stayed lurking. Kind regards, Lou

Last edited by Lou452; 02-25-2013 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Not to mention he rounded Cape Horn with a broken tiller. For all of you who are both fascinated and in disbelief - come listen and interact with Marv - I can assure you, these details are still vivid and easily recalled.

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