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    Re: K2 on the Bounty
    From: Don Seltzer
    Date: 2013 Jul 19, 18:46 -0700

    I have a less charitable view of the article than Frank's. It is a blend of some fact, some exaggerations, some inaccuracies, and some stuff that is simply made up. It relies as much on Hollywood myth as it does on historical sources, beginning with the false image of Bligh as a flogging captain.

    No accounts that I have seen report that Bligh was specifically begging for the chronometer. Muskets and other arms seem to have been his top priority. His clerk, independently attempted to retrieve the chronometer and other navigational aids but was denied all but a quadrant, compass, and various tables.

    Some accounts have Christian himself giving Bligh one of the several sextants carried on the Bounty. In Bligh's subsequent log on the open boat journey there are notations for observations made by both the 'Old quadrant' and the Ramsden sextant.

    I particularly challenge the article's claim that
    'They[mutineers] then used K2 to navigate their way to Pitcairn Island which they believed would be the perfect place to hide out.
    Simon Schaffer, Professor of History at Cambridge University, told The Times that the watch enabled the crew to work out that Pitcairn was inaccurately marked on the Admiralty's maps.'

    Prof Schaffer should be ashamed of himself. This is just the Hollywood romanticized version. We know very little about the mutineer's actual voyage to Pitcairn Island. There were no surviving logs or other records, only the oral accounts of John Adams, the sole surviving mutineer decades later. I've not seen anything in the historical record that hints at the use of K2 by Christian.

    If I may resort to pure conjecture, I would guess that the chronometer fell into disuse during the many weeks that the mutineers spent at Tahiti before deciding to seek out another refuge. Is it likely that Christian saw to its regular winding, and recording of rate? They certainly had no need of it to find their way to Pitcairn, probably by following a line of latitude.

    As for Captain Folger, he did not buy K2, it was given to him by Adams as a gift. And it was taken from by the governor of Juan Fernandez, not Valparaiso.

    Don Seltzer

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