from Bob Roth
Longview Fibre Co.
Reading your lead article in the January 2000 newsletter reminds me of my first brush
with declination. I was a student at the University of Florida in Gainesville and the
agonic line (0 degrees declination) ran just west of town.
Our mensuration instructor recommended we get Suunto compasses. These are liquid filled
like the Suunto clinometers, and there was no way to set declination in these. Not knowing
any better, most of us trooped off to the campus bookstore and bought compasses. The guy
should have known better it wasnt like he never got into the field, in fact
he did a lot of cruising work on weekends, etc., for the consulting forester that I wound
up going to work for when I graduated.
Thats when I realized my Suunto compass was about useless once you got away from
the line, unless you were adept at making the declination adjustments in your
Originally published April 2000