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    Re: Master Hood's cross-staff. was Re: The backstaff....
    From: Nicol�s de Hilster
    Date: 2007 Nov 08, 08:21 +0100

    Michael Daly wrote:
    > Today, I had to go into the city, so I spent the afternoon at the
    > reference library and went through 5 books on the history of marine
    > navigation, including May's*.  I got to see some diagrams of it and
    > other instruments I'd not seen before.  May's book is a good source for
    > history buffs.
    >
    May's book shows indeed quite a lot of interesting diagrams, all of
    which I have seen in period literature as well in the meantime. I
    believe it is even the only modern book showing the demi-cross.
    
    > Looking at your web page, I saw the note about finding a way to hold the
    > Hood instrument level.  May's book states that you hold it against your
    > torso (!) but D.W. Waters** says it should be held to the eye and the
    > horizon sighted to ensure it's level.  May mentions what you find - the
    > wind is a problem with such an instrument.
    >
    > *  A History of Marine navigation
    > ** The Art of Navigation in England in ELizabethan and Early Stuart Times.
    >
    >
    Both books are on my bookshelf, especially Waters is highly
    recommendable, but nothing beats the original literature. Master Hood
    himself describes several ways to hold the instrument and for on land
    even suggests to use a plumb line to find the vertical. He also states
    "...I do not thinke that so necessarie, because I know, that a litle
    practise wyll make the eye a reasonable judge of the perpendicularitie,
    and of the parallelitie.".
    
    Maybe so on land, but certainly not at sea. Standing in wind force 5
    Beaufort we needed all our attention to keep the instrument stable. As
    soon as we looked at the horizon the shadow would go off the staff again
    and as soon as we got the shadow back on the staff it would not be level
    any more. So a real pain in that part we tend to sit on.
    
    
    
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