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Old 31-03-2016, 19:39   #196
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
...

Yes, indeed, humanity have been busy wanderers.

Ann
Yes you can bet

And this are only the old ones between 100 000 and 10 000 years, after that it become a lot more complicated
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Old 01-04-2016, 13:21   #197
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Re: Ancient navigation

I can imagine this one may have been linked before.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/ma...lots.html?_r=1

Found it on Webb Chiles blog today. Interestingly, like with stick charts, the area seems to be Micronesia again, or more precisely, the Marshalls.

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Old 01-04-2016, 16:50   #198
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Re: Ancient navigation

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I can imagine this one may have been linked before.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/ma...lots.html?_r=1

Found it on Webb Chiles blog today. Interestingly, like with stick charts, the area seems to be Micronesia again, or more precisely, the Marshalls.

b.
Actually that makes sense: they are talking about navigating an archipelago by the interaction of waves with the different atolls and Islands that creates different recognizable patterns.
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Old 01-04-2016, 23:38   #199
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Re: Ancient navigation

It's still an area 1000miles across. How many of the charts in your nav station covers as much? And becouse this one excist it's more likely there where more of them than not.
The pacific became populated like Fatu Hiva having some 100. 000 inhabitants. Most areas were self sufficient and the need of trade died. The natural recourses around the islands were about the same..
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Old 02-04-2016, 00:15   #200
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Re: Ancient navigation

This thread would not be complete without a mention of St. Brendan, who is rumored to have rowed/sailed/navigated a leather currach from Ireland to North America. Around about 461 A.D.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:39   #201
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Re: Ancient navigation

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It's still an area 1000miles across. How many of the charts in your nav station covers as much? And becouse this one excist it's more likely there where more of them than not.
The pacific became populated like Fatu Hiva having some 100. 000 inhabitants. Most areas were self sufficient and the need of trade died. The natural recourses around the islands were about the same..
The max diagonal distance on the map posted on that article is about 650nm but the distance between the Islands are much smaller. The type of navigation they described following wave patterns that were identificable because they have been disturbed by the interference of Islands would only work if the Islands were not at a big distance.





When you talk about a 1000nm we are talking about much more than it was on the map on that article, you are talking about this:



Even so if we look at the part that was not on that map you will see that the way is full of Islands at relatively short distance one from another:



Regarding navigation, as I have said repetitively, yes they navigated the Islands of the some archipelago and nearby archipelago using the wave patterns disturbed by Islands as a way to orient themselves and yes that was a remarkable feat for a stone age people without navigational instruments.

What I have been said also is that this should not be confounded with oceanic navigation, out of nearby islands, were this type of navigation is not possible.

Yes they have reached faraway Islands like Easter Island but that was a migration not a navigation and Easter Island and other distant Islands after being colonized remained isolated for large periods of time (centuries).

Navigation is something that was made routinely by a culture and serves for linking frequently different locals, for trade or cultural interchanges.

Migration is something that was done several centuries apart between each migration and it happen when the land resources are exhausted and desperately measures have to be taken for survival. It implies an one sense voyage to a unknown destination.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:37   #202
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Re: Ancient navigation

I think what is interesting in the article is where they discuss how we stop 'having' a skill once we acquire a tool that dispenses of the skill. The author compares our perception of our surroundings in the pre- and post- GPS era. Not that I personally agree with all their assumptions, but I think their suggestions are worth our notice and consideration.

Perhaps then, we were better navigators before the chart, the clock and the sextant arrived? Sort of like the naturals vs. the trained dogs.

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Old 02-04-2016, 09:23   #203
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Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I think what is interesting in the article is where they discuss how we stop 'having' a skill once we acquire a tool that dispenses of the skill. The author compares our perception of our surroundings in the pre- and post- GPS era. Not that I personally agree with all their assumptions, but I think their suggestions are worth our notice and consideration.

Perhaps then, we were better navigators before the chart, the clock and the sextant arrived? Sort of like the naturals vs. the trained dogs.

b.
I like this line from David Barrie's Book Sextant

"It is time to rediscover the joys of celestial navigation, not merely as a safety net, but because using a sextant to find our way puts us in the closest possible touch with the natural world at its most sublime. "

We use the universe to find our place in it.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:37   #204
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
This thread would not be complete without a mention of St. Brendan, who is rumored to have rowed/sailed/navigated a leather currach from Ireland to North America. Around about 461 A.D.

Captain,
The voyages of Brendan and his mythological isles are part folk history, part folklore. The Irish in the 4th and 5th centuries did possess not only a small curragh for fishing and inshore work but also a sea-going curragh with a mast, half-deck, square woolen sail, ox hide cordage and deer sinew and vine lashings in lieu of metal. When the first Vikings sailed to Iceland in the 9th century, they found Irish monks and refugees that had been living there since the 7th century. Perhaps the greatest voyages of Man were not those that were recorded in History but rather those of which we have no knowledge. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:49   #205
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I think what is interesting in the article is where they discuss how we stop 'having' a skill once we acquire a tool that dispenses of the skill. The author compares our perception of our surroundings in the pre- and post- GPS era. Not that I personally agree with all their assumptions, but I think their suggestions are worth our notice and consideration.

Perhaps then, we were better navigators before the chart, the clock and the sextant arrived? Sort of like the naturals vs. the trained dogs.

b.
They were highly trained too, They had a school and even had some sort of examination so I guess natural or instinctive don't apply. In fact it should be a long training to form a Polynesian navigator. Just a different way of learning and one that only was useful on the limited waters where they navigated.

Till the XVIII century the basic navigation skill had to do with dead reckoning and latitude determination but they were not able to do that frequently so a good awareness of the nature was needed too regarding to be able to estimate a position with some correctness.

After the XVIII century the use of a very precise watch and a Sextant started to be the normal means but the use of a Sextant without a modern calculator or computer was not an easy task specially if we consider that the level of education was low.

The ones that tried to take a position using the sextant without a calculator or computer aid know that it is not an easy task and it is one that also required not only mathematical knowledge but a lot of education and training.

Today with GPS is dead easy and maybe talking about navigation (as a task that requires a special knowledge and skill) does not make much sense anymore but it makes no sense to say that old sailors navigated better than modern ones. Off course this is in what regards to take a fix and to know where to sail too, because the exponential increase of vessels put knew challenges, specially in what regards crowded waters.

Quite the contrary, navigation is better and hugely more precise now, so saying that old navigators were better navigators than modern ones make not any sense because in fact they navigated much poorly.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:02   #206
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Re: Ancient navigation

rognvald, yes I have read the stories of his travels, and I read about a group that was undertaking a recreation of his voyages, including building the the currachs. I forget the name of the book or author, but it was very interesting to me.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:08   #207
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
rognvald, yes I have read the stories of his travels, and I read about a group that was undertaking a recreation of his voyages, including building the the currachs. I forget the name of the book or author, but it was very interesting to me.

Captain,
May I recommend the most authoritative and exhaustive study of Northern voyages, including a chapter on St. Brendan and the Irish monks, in Samuel Eliot Morison's "The Northern Voyages--A.D. 500 to 1600," an indispensable history for those who love the sea and the great feats of European navigation. Best, Rognvald.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:37   #208
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Re: Ancient navigation

It would be interesting to know which of the stories are reports and which are only tales. They say there is a grain of truth in every legend but I am skeptic and most of the time on the wagon on non-believers. And yet, now and then, I get a lesson discovering what sounds a likely story is in fact 100% truth. Like when we lived in NZ and we were told of that German admiral and his adventures. I thought: oh, hell, yet another Kiwi legend. And yet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_von_Luckner

I always thought our ocean adventures were extraordinary, till I read about Dampier. ;-)

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Old 02-04-2016, 12:56   #209
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pirate Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
They were highly trained too, They had a school and even had some sort of examination so I guess natural or instinctive don't apply. In fact it should be a long training to form a Polynesian navigator. Just a different way of learning and one that only was useful on the limited waters where they navigated.

Till the XVIII century the basic navigation skill had to do with dead reckoning and latitude determination but they were not able to do that frequently so a good awareness of the nature was needed too regarding to be able to estimate a position with some correctness.

After the XVIII century the use of a very precise watch and a Sextant started to be the normal means but the use of a Sextant without a modern calculator or computer was not an easy task specially if we consider that the level of education was low.

The ones that tried to take a position using the sextant without a calculator or computer aid know that it is not an easy task and it is one that also required not only mathematical knowledge but a lot of education and training.

Today with GPS is dead easy and maybe talking about navigation (as a task that requires a special knowledge and skill) does not make much sense anymore but it makes no sense to say that old sailors navigated better than modern ones. Off course this is in what regards to take a fix and to know where to sail too, because the exponential increase of vessels put knew challenges, specially in what regards crowded waters.

Quite the contrary, navigation is better and hugely more precise now, so saying that old navigators were better navigators than modern ones make not any sense because in fact they navigated much poorly.
Your only as good as your toys in the middle of the Atlantic/Pacific till they break.. then most will panic and hit the EPIRB.. elementary DR paper chart navigation techniques are essential.
But hey.. just my 0.0000001 centime
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Old 02-04-2016, 13:30   #210
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Your only as good as your toys in the middle of the Atlantic/Pacific till they break.. then most will panic and hit the EPIRB.. elementary DR paper chart navigation techniques are essential.
But hey.. just my 0.0000001 centime
You seem to put anything on a personal basis. They are not my toys but the navigation instruments of all modern ships and boats. On ships they are redundant and on boats if the sailor is a smart one they should also be, at least the GPS.

And then all Ship captains have not only to know how to navigate with GPS and modern electronic instruments but also with a sextant and paper charts. It is a part of their education and also needed to take the needed license.

I know that in what regards pleasure boats British and citizens of other countries can sail the Oceans without any license and many don't have any idea how to navigate without a plotter but on many countries a license to sail offshore implies knowledge of paper chart navigation and the use of a sextant and astronomical navigation. They are an essential part of the examination to take that license. It is the case in the country where you live.
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