A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Robin Stuart
Date: 2019 Oct 17, 09:34 -0700
When looking for old posts recently I happened across this from Bruce Pennino http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx/King-Haakon-Bay-Chart-Location-Pennino-jan-2013-g21715
Bruce writes “An on-line service indicates that Cave Cove (later called I believe) is 54° 11' S ....Worsley got it right!”.
Indeed he did but as no one knew at the time it was pure luck that he got the correct result. The first thing to wonder about is just how does one do a noon sight from the south coast of South Georgia in mid-May. The answer can be found on page 37 of this paper. Worsley made two unrelated but cancelling errors to get his accurate result. Does this diminish the legend and legacy of the great navigator? Personally I think adds some depth and shows him to be a real person (who had just endured 14 days in a small boat crossing 800NM of South Atlantic Ocean). We do find occasional errors in the original log books but they are relatively rare and inconsequential. Another is discussed here. But during the crossing from Elephant Island in the James Caird, under the most difficult of conditions and when it really mattered, not a single error is was made. The acclaim is deserved and the legend untarnished.