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    Re: Beating a Dead Horse (aka Worley's Sextant)
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2014 Feb 9, 16:00 -0500

    Frank

    I was thinking that Seb's website could be an entry portal to the NavList.  Read a little there, become intrigued, and follow the link here.  Just a thought to drive membership

    +++++

    In so far as the NA data required, it is no secret that Worsley exclusively relied upon the sun to perform celestial navigation.  In fact, for the first 6 days, the sun was not visible to the extent of being useful at all.  Worsley used DR quite extensively.   So the star and planetary data found in the NA was useless!

    While the NA may have been largely superfluous, it is my view that Worsley kept all of his navigational accoutrements with him, just in case.  One example is the barometer they brought but never used.  Why a barometer?  To adjust the dip, of course. (Or perhaps to find the height of a building) Another example, upon landing on South Georgia Island, Worsley determines the latitude of their location in King Haakon Bay and finds it to be 1' 13" wrong as compared to the German chart of the area.  Shackleton, in "South" proclaims that it is the chart that is in error, not Worsley.  Hardly significant in my view and likely attributable to uncertainty of dip over very cold waters.  (I understand that they wanted a chart for SGI, the destination).  Yet it lends credence to the theory that Worsley carried as many navigational aids as he could on this, the most dangerous of journeys.

    Unlike the modern day expedition, there was no chase or rescue ship.  No UHF radio nor chance for succor.  It was all or nothing.  And the 22 men who remained on Elephant Island had no chance of discovery or rescue should Worsley have failed.  Indeed, upon their rescue, Shackleton states there were only a few days of rations left and winter was encroaching.  They likely would have starved to death.  Dangerous? Um...yes.

    +++++

    I'd also like to update on the sextant markings.  After extensive correspondence, I have discovered that the sextant is (so the James Caird Society claims) the personal property of Alexandra Shackleton, Sir Ernest's granddaughter.  At one point, she loaned it to a Lt Col Henry Worsley for a modern expedition.  He has since returned it to Ms Shackleton. I'm hopeful that the society can put me into contact with her.  So, nothing so far!

    Brad

    On Feb 9, 2014 3:06 PM, "Frank Reed" <FrankReed{at}historicalatlas.com> wrote:

    Brad,

    Thanks. I'm not particularly worried about "getting things right" on his web site right now. As I noted, those small details will hardly matter to the vast majority of visitors to his site. I was just trying to get a conversation going here!

    -FER
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