|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|05-31-2011 10:14 PM|
The crew on many of the early exploration ships were indentured. Many of them were debtors, prisoners, etc. They were more often than not poorly treated.
Before they discovered that things like cabbage, prevented scurvy...many were lost to that horribly painful death.
Punishment was swift and cruel..living conditions were horrible. forget personal hygiene...the ship had to stink to high heavens.
I think 5 ? members of Magellens Voyage returned alive?
Drake would be one of the characters, that I'd like to meet. He raided the spanish stole their gold, their ships, and more importantly their pilots while he looked for the North passage.....
They would probably marvel at ..just being able to take a hot shower..
and have fresh food keep under refrigeration..
|05-31-2011 09:17 PM|
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
|05-31-2011 09:07 PM|
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
They had large rowing-boats (more than one) and plenty of crew to provide sufficient auxilliary power (10 man-power?) to get them out shallow water or poor winds - and the seamanship with wind/tide to know how best to do it - but going there in the first place with either no charts or poor charts, is IMO far more gutsy.
It was quite common for the first explorers (Cook et al) to re-draw someone else's charts as they sailed along. Scary stuff!
|05-31-2011 06:31 PM|
Show him my inboard diesel.
I find it amazing how these capains sailed ships up the Chesapeake or through the Straits of Magellan without aux power. Especially if they were the first ship sailing through these unknown waters. They would have no idea if they were going to hit shallow water or poor winds. They were on their own with no aux power and no help if they needed it.
|05-18-2011 08:41 PM|
As for lunar distance, I suspect the math is not really all that hard. Just like modern celestial navigation there are zillions of tables where all you have to do is reference several numbers in several tables, add them up in various ways, and use the results to references several more numbers in several more tables. Before mechanical calculators (probably even up to the age of electronics) all practical math was done by looking up numbers in tables, and addition.
The reason chronometers are preferable is that the tables procedures are still time-consuming and error-prone (look up the wrong number, copy the number wrong, add the number wrong), so any means you can contrive to remove table lookups is a good idea.
As for what to show your captain, I'd agree with folks who said dacron but I'd go further and say plastics in general, especially fiberglass. Imagine not having to reapply oakum anymore. As for electronics-type stuff, while maps and Google Earth would be impressive, they did already have maps and did know the Earth was round, so the witchcraft involved in animating it is just that -- animation. Might as well show him "the talkies". I would turn on the radio and give him a few minutes to find the man hiding the bilges and failing to accurately predict the weather.
|05-18-2011 05:28 PM|
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Not at all! Perhaps a $20 Casio would be exactly what would be most amazing to him. After all, with the skill set he would bring with him, that would be the closest thing (and most useful) to his experience. He may look at a GPS and say, "eh, give me a good watch anyday..."
Or, he might just read the headlines about Strauss-Kahn, and say, "I see some things NEVER change...."
|05-18-2011 02:19 AM|
|puddinlegs||Put him on a VOC 70 or large Tri for an 800 nm day under sail.|
|05-17-2011 11:08 PM|
Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
..and to think that the 10-buck wrist-watch on your arm is more accurate than any method the old seafarers ever had of keeping time at sea - right up to the middle of the 20th century! A frightening thought...
..with apologies to the OP for the unintended thread hijack.
|05-17-2011 10:56 PM|
Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
From what I've read, it was because the chronometers of the time were such poor keepers of time in a marine environment. These were mechanical devices, remember, and very subject to vibration (ie. thumping off the back of a wave) or temperature fluctuations (ticking faster or slower). Some even had to be wound up at exactly the same time each day to compensate for the main-spring unwinding at different rates. IIRC, Cook took three with him - just in case - and found some were better than others. In this part of the world, being out by a minute in a week or so is more than sufficient to put you on the rocks...
The huge prize you mention was to come up with something that didn't require pages of calculations.. because, even back then, not everyone who went to sea was good at mathematics. If you look into it, taking a Noon Sight isn't rocket science, but the longitude calculations to go with it make rocket science look easy!
|05-17-2011 10:42 PM|
|CapnBilll||Getting an accurate fix from the rise time of the sun or a star has got to beat calculating the moons relative position to other steller bodies. A good watch reduces finding longitude from hours of work to a few minutes sighting.|
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