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    Re: Malaspina
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2007 Oct 6, 00:11 +0100

    Andres Ruiz wrote-
    XVIII century was an age of the explorers, navigators and cartographers like 
    Cook, La P�rouse, Malaspina and later Flinders.
    Under a royal commission, he undertook a scientific expedition around the 
    world in 1789, and explored the Pacific Ocean and the west coast of Spain's 
    North American possessions.
    In honor of James Cook�s ships; Resolution & Discovery, Malaspina baptised 
    his own ships Atrevida y Descubierta
    A pair of big octants used in the voyage are at the Naval Musem in Madrid
    For those who are interested a book in PDF format is available: 
    There's a full translation of the journal of the Malaspina expedition, 
    1789-1794, edited by Andrew David et al, in 3 volumes, published by the 
    Hakluyt Society 2001 to 2004, with a lot of knowledgeable footnotes and 
    It was a remarkably lavishly equipped expedition, with the latest and the 
    best instruments that could be got. I was particularly interested in the 
    quintant, by Gabriel Wright of London, which must be about the first 
    quintant ever. Its increased angular range (144 degrees) over the sextant 
    (120) was really intended for taking widely-spaced Sun lunars and for 
    horizontal angle surveying, but I doubt if it was used that way. Its use was 
    recorded in taking Sun altitudes when the horizon under the Sun was obscured 
    by a nearby coastline, and the quintant came in useful for measuring 
    altitudes up from the opposite horizon, with angles well over 90 degrees.
    There's a photo of a Ramsden astronomical quadrant, in what looks like 
    superb condition, on display in the Museo Naval, Madrid.
    The Malaspina expedition had a disappointing lack of impact, occurring as it 
    did when Spain's maritime power was on the wane.
    contact George Huxtable at george---.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
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