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post #37 of Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Circumnavigation without instruments

Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
Well, he obviously just waited until he could smell vegemite wafting in the north wind and hung a louie.
You'll get no vegemite smell from the Nullabor Desert - only sheer cliffs, a lee shore and no hope of rescue. As many ship captains discovered at their peril during the late 18th and 19th centuries, if you have any choice at all, the south cost of Australia isn't really something you want to make landfall on - so if that was really his course, he'd have needed to pick a really nice day!

Having said that, of all the approaches to make, the one shown on the map isn't the quickest way to go, but is probably the most sensible without instruments (basically coastal-cruising around Tasmania and north to Sydney) - but - if, after leaving the Bight, he'd been blown too far south and missed sighting Tasmania altogether, we'd not be reading about his voyage - ever. The old ship captains often referred to missing Tasmania as "sailing off the edge of the world".

IMHO if he'd claimed he dropped in to Melbourne on his way to Sydney, without using instruments, THEN you could be fairly sure the entire voyage was a fable. As it stands, I think you'll find his route was very carefully selected....

"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

Last edited by Classic30; 02-27-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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