AS an experienced sailor, and knowing my beloved sailboat, Serenity, very well, I can tell without looking at the knotmeter a one knot difference in speed through the water. And as others who have replied to my original post, looking at the common FE models would require distances that are at least 2 times farther than on a RE, and likely closer to three times farther to circumnavigate. Please believe me that even ignoring GPS data, anyone with enough sailing experience to be doing a round-the-world race would be aware of the massively increased distance involved. And monohull sailboats have a "hull speed" past which they cannot reasonably go faster. This is based on the well-known physics of water itself and wave generation. The oversimplified explanation is that as you push a displacement boat hull faster and faster it starts sinking deeper into the water, which greatly increases the drag until you reach a limit = the hull speed. You just cannot make up that degree of distance increase.

My second question/puzzle for FE's is that I have the honor of being old enough to have been trained as a celestial navigator - using a sextant and an accurate watch to determine position at sea. I was lucky enough that when I was in graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis I was able to take a whole semester long course in Celestial taught by a retired Navy officer navigator. Since it was a semester long course we got heavily into the basic math involved. In practice there are books of tables and now calculators/computers that do the math for you, but if you want as a FE believer to assume those books and computers are somehow "doctored" by NASA, my instructor made us do the math ourselves. My final project was to write a computer program that calculated the "great circle route" between two points on the globe. When Lindbergh wanted to calculate the great circle course (the shortest distance) for his historic flight from New York to Paris he had to stretch a string taut on a large globe at the New York City library before the flight and take careful notes as to where he should be at each stage of his flight.

The math required for Celestial is called "spherical trigonometry", and you need a higher level scientific calculator or computer. The simplest example I can give is that on a flat plane an equilateral triangle (all three sides are on the same exact length) has three angles of 60 degrees each. However on a sphere an equilateral triangle is quite different, with three angles of 90 degrees each, not 60. Imagine traveling on a sphere. You start at the north pole and travel due south to the equator. Once you reach the equator you turn due east or west (doesn't matter which), that's a 90 degree turn, and then travel the exact same distance as you did from the pole to the equator. At that point you turn north again (another 90 degree turn) and travel back to the pole. Once back at the pole again you will discover the angle between your departing and returning path is also 90 degrees. Spherical trig has no trouble with calculating all sorts of triangles on the surface of a sphere. Regular flat trig that we all learned in school won't work. Likewise if we really are on a flat earth, then the math behind sextants wouldn't work, not even close. But it works fine. Not as good, and certainly not as easy as GPS, but gets you within about a mile of where you want to be, and for most purposes that's good enough. And it's been used since the invention of a reliable chronometer (accurate clock at sea) in the 1760s. Long before space flight, NASA or any other alleged conspirators. Or do you think all those tens of thousands of crusty old sea captains were all part of a massive conspiracy to hide the flat earth secret for 260 years? And not one of them ever fessed up about the "secret" he/she was keeping?

A FE answer please?