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post #13 of Old 05-17-2011
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I could have sworn that calculating longitude at sea wasn’t possible until the advent of accurate chronometers in the 1800’s. A while back, I read the account of the whale ship Essex, and in it, most captains couldn’t calculate longitude until their second or third voyages (if at all) and some captains left on their first voyage without the skills to accurately determine latitude. No real knowledge of global weather or current patterns, primitive navigation tools, quill pen and long division for calculations… Yes, I think that 17th and 18th century navigation is fascinating.
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