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    Re: Longitude as a Romance
    From: John Kabel
    Date: 2001 Jul 12, 7:32 AM

    Speaking of romance . . .
    I have been reading the Patrick O'Brian series of books with Capt. John
    Aubrey, RN and Dr. Steven Maturin as the main characters.  The first
    book in the series was "Master and Commander, followed up by "Post
    Captain," etc.
    Now, in addition to being a very good read, this series is highly
    acclaimed for its historical accuracy.  O'Brian was not a university
    scholar, but has been widely accepted for his meticulous technical
    detail regarding the sailing of British naval vessels of the Nelson
    era.  The series covers about 1798, and I'm into the 1812 era now.
    Jack Aubrey struggles with his chronometers at one point when his best
    one of the three he averages is smashed in a combat action.  But through
    the whole series he never relies solely on his chronometers, being very
    faithful to his "lunars" and his noon sights.
    Now, fiction is not fact, but when it has the force of such meticulous
    and proven technical detail behind it, I would suggest that we might
    accept the fact that lunars did not disappear immediately with the
    advent of the chronometer.
    My two shillings' worth.
    John Kabel
    Past Commander and GPS Instructor
    London Power and Sail Squadron
    London, Ontario, Canada

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