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    Re: Lightning at sea
    From: Lisa Fiene
    Date: 2004 Oct 16, 08:26 +1000

    Phil wrote:
    >  Yes, bad idea.  Lightning will follow the path of least resistance
     >     and the chain sounds like a high resistance path.  Some energy will
     >     leak this way but most "may" find another path to ground.
    I'd have to challenge you on that comment Phil.  I think George's idea
    of a chain has a great precedent - Captain James Cook on his 1768-1770
    voyage of exploration on Endeavour!
    "The onset of winter drove Endeavour off course, and on April 19, the
    ship arrived off New Holland (Australia). Nine days later, Endeavour
    entered Botany Bay (just south of modern Sydney), which they named "for
    the great quantity of New Plants & ca" collected there over the next
    week. Endeavour sailed again on May 6, skirting the coast of Australia
    until June 10, when the ship was holed on the Great Barrier Reef near
    Cape Tribulation (15?47S, 145?34E). "This was," wrote Cook, "an alarming
    and I may say terrible Circumstance and threatend immidiate destruction
    to us as soon as the Ship was afloat." It took two days to free the
    ship, and the leak was only stopped by fothering, that is, drawing a
    sail impregnated with oakum under the ship's bottom to stop the leak.
    Nine days later, Cook landed at what is now Cooktown. Repairs to the
    ship lasted six weeks, during which Lieutenant Gore shot and stuffed a
    kangaroo. After claiming New Holland for the British Crown, Cook sailed
    Endeavour through the Torres Strait, stopping at Savu Island (west of
    Timor), and then sailing on to the Dutch entrep?t at Batavia (now
    Jakarta). There, thanks to an "electrical chain" Cook ordered set up for
    the purpose, Endeavour survived a bolt of lightning that did serious
    damage to a Dutch East Indiaman".
    I personally have always thought James Cook was an exceptional navigator
    and seaman!

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