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    Jack Aubrey's fixing of longitude
    From: Geoffrey Kolbe
    Date: 2011 Jun 18, 19:46 +0100

    In O'Brian's book, HMS Surprise, Aubrey fixes the position of an island thus:
    
    "...Jack had set up his instruments and where he and his officers
    were gazing up at the pale moon, with Venus clear above
    her......  The instruments stood on a carefully levelled patch of
    sand, and as the great moment approached, the tension could be
    felt.....  A deadly hush fell over the group, broken only by Jack's
    voice reading off figures to his clerk.
    "Two seven four," he said, straightening his back at last.
    "Mr Stourton, what do you find?"
    "Two seven four, sir, exactly."
    "The most satisfactory observation that I have ever made," said Jack.
    He clapped the eyepiece to and cast an affectionate glance to Venus,
    sailing away up there, distinct in the perfect blue once one knew
    where to look.
    
    Jack strolled up the beach. "Such a perfect observation, Stephen," he
    called out as he came near the tree. "...... All our observations
    tally, and our chronometers were out by twenty seven mile. We have
    laid down the island exactly..."
    
    What procedure is Jack Aubrey invoking to find his longitude here?
    
    Geoffrey Kolbe
    
    
    
    
    

       
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