[time-nuts] establishing your position w/o gps

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Tue Jan 24 14:07:04 EST 2012

On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM, J. Forster <jfor at quikus.com> wrote:

> Nope. A knot is a unit of velocity, not didtance.
>  A "knot" is 1 nautical mile per hour
>  A nautical mile is that distance, subtended at the earth's surface at
> the equator, by 1 arc-minute.
> If somebody tells you the ship was going "22 knots/hour" they don't know
> what they are talking about. A knot/hour is an acceleration.

You are using modern terminology.   In the days when they tossed a
real log overboard and measured time by singing a song.  Issac Newton
was still 100+ years in the future and no one new calculus or what
"acceleration" was.  Most sailors could not count to 100 out load and
many could not even write their own name.    I doubt they used the
terms as precisely as we do now.   History seems to only teach us
about the top tier, the Royal Navy and their educated officers and the
explorers like Cook and Magellan.   Most were not nearly at that level
of competence.  Most captains followed "cook book"  like directions
and did not understand the theory.

Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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