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    Re: Patrick O'Brian series
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2014 Jan 14, 14:19 -0500

    Regarding star dates, are they pseudo random numbers or real ones?  Have you 
    cracked the generating algorithm?
    Fred Hebard
    On Jan 14, 2014, at 1:57 PM, Tom Sult wrote:
    > Waite... The Star ship Enterprise is a fiction?!!  By the way I find it 
    disappointing that "star dates" are just random numbers. 
    > Tom Sult
    > Sent from my iPhone
    > On Jan 13, 2014, at 22:48, "Don E. Bray"  wrote:
    >> Bearing in mind that this is a factual discussion of fiction, I too have 
    been intrigued with the series. I have read it completely through once, but 
    not in any particular order. The second time, which I am finishing in Wine 
    Dark Sea, was read in order. The most complete use of sightings was in 
    Desolation island which I have analyzed using Starry Night software and other 
    landmarks to estimate the time of the voyage. O'Brian gives only the day and 
    month irregularly so there is not a complete story. However, using the 
    starting time from the Cannonade.net site and the relationship to Capt. 
    Bligh's troubles in NSW, one can place the Leopard in the Bay of Biscay (pg 
    71) on 4 April 1811 (fix on Antares) and finally seeing Saturn clear as a 
    bell (pg.274) at Desolation Island 0n 29 January 1812.  This gives a travel 
    time of 270 days which compares well with the data in Harbours and High Seas  
    for Dutch sailing ships of 129 days Holland to Cape Town.
    >> My disclaimer is that I am an amateur astronomer (emphases on the 
    qualifier) and not a navigator (I own a A. Hobbs pocket sextant and a boson's 
    pipe) but was interested in seeing how close POB was to real truth, not that 
    he needed to be at all, he is a master story teller. He was wrong on the 
    dates on pg. 262; 12/24/1811 was on a Tuesday not a Wednesday and the error 
    continues on the next page.  
    >> I made a presentation on this to the local astronomy club and would be 
    happy to furnish the spread sheet for error checking if you will send me a 
    direct request to debray1---.com.
    >> But, don't forget, this is fiction, like the Starship Enterprise.
    >> Don
    >> **************************************
    >> Venus pops in and falls away, 12/17/13 5:43 - 5:55 pm  ...........
    >> http://www.debclltx.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Venus121713B.mov
    >> http://www.debclltx.com/
    >> New Arctic images at 
    >> http://benbray.com/
    >> Don E. Bray
    >> Mail P. O. Box 10315, College Station, Texas 77842-0315
    >> Office/Cellular 979-492-9534
    >> On Jan 13, 2014, at 08:13 PM, Don Seltzer  wrote:
    >>> Peter Smith wrote:
    >>> There is a detailed but enigmatic passage in _HMS Surprise_ that was 
    discussed on this list a few years back:
    >>> -----
    >>> HMS Surprise; Norton 1991 (paperback); pp. 361-362
    >>> The instruments stood on a carefully leveled patch of sand, and as the 
    great moment approached the tension could be felt even from the tree. A 
    deadly hush fell over the group, broken only by Jack's voice reading off 
    figures to his clerk.
    >>> 'Two seven four,' he said, straightening his back at last. 'Mr Storton, what do you find?'
    >>> 'Two seven four, sir, exactly.'
    >>> 'The most satisfactory observation I have ever made,' said Jack. He 
    clapped the eyepiece to and cast an affectionate glance at Venus, sailing 
    away up there, distinct in the perfect blue once one knew where to look. 'Now 
    we can stow all this gear and go back aboard.'
    >>> He strolled up the beach. 'Such a charming observation, Stephen,' he 
    called out as he came near the tree. 'I am sorry to have kept you so long, 
    but it was worth it. All our calculations tally, and the chronometers were 
    out by twenty-seven mile [sic]. We have laid down the island as exactly...
    >>> -----
    >>> I am sorry I was not around for the long and detailed discussion, in June 
    2011. There was one post, by Wolfgang K. that I believe was spot on.
    >>> This has been a lively discussion - but leading nowhere. Does anyone 
    really believe that Patrick O'Brian had any realistic notion of astronomical 
    navigation - leaving aside the finer points of lunars etc.? What would be the 
    basis of such a belief? Could one show from his books that he had a solid 
    grasp of these matters? He was a gifted writer as far as the actual workings 
    of a ship is concerned; and he was as - a writer - at liberty to shift the 
    actual time (and place) of events if they fitted the tale - and he really did 
    so as he confessed in some forewords.. So I wouldn't try to match his 
    writings with actual events.
    >>> Wolfgang
    >>> ----------------------------------------------------------------
    >>> My take on this passage:
    >>> The real purpose of the scene has little to do with navigation. It is 
    actually a brilliant metaphor for a turning point in Jack Aubrey's life. He 
    has previously been torn between two women, the seductress Diana, and the 
    fair Sophie waiting for him back in England. Recent events have made it clear 
    that Sophie is the one he should choose. In mythology, Diana is the moon 
    goddess, and Venus represents love.. So up there in the perfect sky is Venus 
    sailing above the moon,
    >>> 'He clapped the eyepiece to and cast an affectionate glance at Venus, 
    sailing away up there, distinct in the perfect blue once one knew where to 
    look. '
    >>> Don Seltzer
    >>> ----------------------------------------------------------------
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    >>> View and reply to this message: http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=126349
    >> View and reply to this message: http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=126353
    > View and reply to this message: http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=126366

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