The American Practical Navigator - Bowditch
One cannot hold this small, delicate, slipcovered book without being impressed by the nearly 200-year unbroken chain of publication that it has enjoyed. It sailed on U.S. merchantmen and Navy ships shortly after the quasi-war with France and during British impressment of merchant seamen that led to the War of 1812. It sailed on U.S. Naval vessels during operations against Mexico in the 1840's, on ships of both the Union and Confederate fleets during the Civil War, and with the U.S. Navy in Cuba in 1898. It went around the world with the Great White Fleet, across the North Atlantic to Europe during both World Wars, to Asia during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and to the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm. It has circled the globe with countless thousands of merchant ships for 200 years.
As navigational requirements and procedures have changed throughout the years, Bowditch Has changed with them. Originally devoted almost exclusively to celestial navigation, it now also covers a host of modern topics. It is as practical today as it was when Nathaniel Bowditch, master of the Putnam, gathered the crew on deck and taught them the mathematics involved in calculating lunar distances. It is that practicality that has been the publication's greatest strength, and that makes the publication as useful today as it was in the age of sail.
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency