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    Flinders' journey
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2005 Feb 24, 10:00 +0000

    Frank's quote from Flinders about after-the-event correction of longitudes
    is indeed of great interest.
    I can add a postscript about Flinders.
    Initially, he had set off in "Investigator", with a document from the
    French promising freedom from interference to his scientific mission, even
    though it was (as usual) a time of war.
    After his circumnavigation of Australia. he returned to Port Jackson
    (Sydney) with Investigator falling apart under him. He took passage for
    Britain in a navy ship, HMS Porpoise, which became wrecked in the dangerous
    waters off Northern Queensland. Flinders managed to return to Sydney (a
    voyage of 1100 miles) in a small open boat, the ship's cutter, to summon
    He then set off again, in a small schooner of only 29 tons, which was
    detained on passage, at Ile de France (now Mauritius). The French governor
    did not recognise his pass as valid, being made out for a different vessel,
    and treated Flinders as a spy. Altogether, he was detained (but not jailed)
    from 1803 to 1811.
    On his return he put together his "Voyage to Terra Australis".
    Unfortunately, he never saw that book, as he died on the day it was
    published, still only 40.
    This information comes from "The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea",
    ed. Kemp, 1976, and "Terra Australis", by Tim Flannery.
    contact George Huxtable by email at george@huxtable.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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