A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2020 Nov 12, 08:08 -0800
Frank, if you think this is a cheat, please sit on it a day to let the clever people have a chance. If you consider it lateral thinking, publish straight away.
A quick Google search for ‘three masted reed raft’ shows the boat is Viracocha III being built on Arica Beach Chile. Google maps puts the centre of the hull at 18.466235S 70.307384W. The vessel was launched in March 2019 and abandoned at sea in July 2019 after a storm
Aligning the fenceposts, the camera would appear to be looking due west. The Moon is pointing towards the Sun, which has just set at around 260, so it’s evening twilight. The light on the bow of the anchored vessel is too small for the Sun and too bright for a planet, so neglect it. Therefore, the object almost hidden by the foremast is probably a planet. The 3/57 stars are: 1. At the apex of the triangle based upon the tops of the for and main masts. 2. Halfway up the right-hand side of the photograph. 3. At the extreme top of the photo 1/3 from the top righthand corner.
Therefore, we’re looking do a date between March 2018 and March 2019 when the Moon closely follows the Sun accompanied by a planet, either Venus, Mars or Jupiter. The photo first appears on the www in the Viracocha Facebook site on 23rd April 2018, so 1Mach 2018 might be a good place to start looking with a star finder. However, either my assessment of looking due west is wrong or the date bracket is wrong, because close to the equinox, the Sun should be setting in the west not 260.
As we’re at 18.5S semi-duration of daylight will not change all that much, so I don’t think there’s that much to be gained as to season bearing in mind the accuracy of my assessment of the direction the camera is pointing.
Tinkering around with Navigator, on 16th April 2018 the moon is well ahead of Venus. On the 18th, it’s well behind. Therefore, the date is 17th April 2018. The time is around 22.34UTC, and hazarding a guess, the three stars might be 1. Aldebaran 2. Capella 3. Betelgeuse.
Not really Lunars, but seeing how quickly the moon moves around makes me want to get into them.
What took you to the beach? Well not to see the boat; it’s gone. Perhaps, as they built it from Reeds, you were collecting royalties; unlikely. I looked and looked to see is the wreckage had at last been washed up somewhere in the last few days, but I found nothing, so I’ve drawn a blank on that one. DaveP