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15th century sailors kept track of their speed at sea with a knotted rope, a piece of wood and an...

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James Thomas Rook Jr. -
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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Excellent article on navigation and "dead reckoning" at the link. That's for sharing this.

I’ve always enjoyed the Hornblower series of novels, starting with rookie or Midshipman Hornblower progressively up to Lord Hornblower. In a sort of osmosis way I picked up a vague familiarity with nautical terms. 

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6 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

  I’ve always enjoyed the Hornblower series of novels, starting with rookie or Midshipman Hornblower progressively up to Lord Hornblower. In a sort of osmosis way I picked up a vague familiarity with nautical terms. 

If you are interested, I have the complete series of "Master and Commander" books on "audio tape", actually in MP3 format. I think it is 22 books.. I could send them to you on an SD card, if you like....

The movie was really good, also, and might fit on the card.

 

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I really GREAT movie is  the 2000 "Longitude", by the A&E Channel, which explains the development of how, for the first time, it was possible to determine accurate Longitude, for open ocean navigation.  I have the movie, and the book it was based on, also a magnificent read.

Latitude was able to be determined for thousands of years with just a plumb bob line, and a protractor, looking at the sun or stars, but

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  • This movie follows John Harrison's (Sir Michael Gambon's) quest to find the key to determining longitude. In the eighteenth century, the problem of measuring longitude confounded scientists, sailors and politicians. In 1707, unable to determine their exact location through a thick fog, two thousand men of the British fleet perished by accidentally running into the rocks off of the Scilly Islands. As a result of this tragedy, in 1714, British Parliament passed the Act of Longitude to offer an enormous cash prize to the person who could solve the problem of longitude. A carpenter by trade, Harrison believed that the solution lied in finding a way to measure time accurately, going against many of the scientists of the day, who felt that the mystery would be solved through celestial navigation. Harrison designs and creates four increasingly refined timekeepers. This work takes him through thirty years of struggle and determination (not only his, but his family's, friends', and allies' as well) to solve what was referred to as the "greatest scientific problem of the time." Along the way, he faces the animosity and interference of many of the celestial navigation proponents.

 
  • ...only the second time in history, a carpenter stunned the world, and made it better.

 

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