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    Re: Lunars in 1766
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2004 Oct 2, 00:42 -0500

    Dear George,
    
    Thank you for your message.
    The (Russian) book I have and the log translation you have
    seem to be two different books.
    My one is a translation of the book published in Paris
    in 1771, 2 years after the completion of the voyage,
    and this is definitely NOT a log book. It does not contain daily records.
    It is just a narrative. The paragraphs I translated in my previous
    message are preceded by the following:
    
    "On December 2, afternoon we saw the cape of Vierges and left
    it to the South, approximately at 7 leagues distance.
    I determined our lattitude at noon as S 52d,
    thus we were at S 52d3'30" and long 71d12'20" West of Paris."
    
    Then follow the paragraphs translated in my previous message.
    The numbers in the above paragraph are in agreement with the
    text you cited. But the paragraphs I cited in my previous message
    look misterious in many respects.
    
    Still earlier in the book he mentions more details about the events
    on November 27:
    
    "...Only on November 27 approximately on Lat 47, when according to
    our DR we were in 35 leagues from Patagonie, the measurement
    showed the depth of 70 sazhens [I don't know what unit he uses.
    It is translated by the Russian word "sazhen". My Russian-English
    dictionary
    translates this as "Russian fathom (1.83 meters)"-A.E.]
    with mud and fine grey and black sand on the floor.
    Since then we always encountered this ground at the depths
    67, 60, 55, 50, 47 and finally 40 sazhens until the moment when we saw
    the land and this was the cape of Vierges.
    I did not want to approach the shore too closely, until I reached
    parallel 49d because I was afraid of a lone rock which I saw in 1765 on
    the parallel 48d34' S, 6-7 leagues from the shore.
    I noticed it in the morning at the same moment when we saw the land.
    The weather was perfect and I could measure our lattitude precisely
    at noon. [Apparently he refers to 52d mentioned above on Dec 2-A.E.].
    We passed only 1/4 of a league from this rock. [When Cape Vierges was
    noticed.
    Then he describes birds, which I skip.-A.E.]
    
    On Fri, 1 Oct 2004, George Huxtable wrote:
    
    > and I wonder if Alex finds any greater clarity in the Russian
    > version.
    
    No I do not. The passage I sent yesterday seems very confusing.
    The continuation of this passage contains his general thoughts
    of the Lunar distances and instruments to measure them, but this
    seems even more confusing to me. He mentions some French instruments
    whose names and descriptions I do not understand.
    I conjecture that the translator was not understanding the text
    he was translating, not speaking of the numerical data which were
    probably never carefully proofread. In fact the Russian translator
    complains
    in his introduction that "the book is overloaded with details about
    navigation":-)
    
    BTW, I read the description of the Hadley octant in the book by
    Norie (1828). It had a veriner permitting to
    read the angles only to the whole minutes.
    So it is not clear to me why Bougainville includes meaningless
    seconds to his longitude recordings.
    He did understand the accuracy of his measurements, did not he?
    
    Alex.
    
    
    

       
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