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post #15 of Old 05-17-2011
GeorgeB
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Did a little sleuthing. Per Wikipedia, Harrison didn’t invent his H5 chronometer until 1773. The Royal Navy didn’t widely distribute them amongst the fleet until 1825. Up until that point, navigators were using the very much less accurate lunar method for determining longitude. That is why I find the navigation of those times to be so interesting. Imagine to “hit” something like Hawaii or Tahiti, you sail until you cross a certain latitude, then head west until you make landfall. How those early explorers ever found the islands is amazing. The design of square rigged ships haven’t changed much in the last 300-400 years but navigation certainly has.
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