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    Re: Patrick O'Brian series
    From: Don Seltzer
    Date: 2014 Jan 14, 16:18 -0800

    Don Bray wrote: The departure year is from cannonade.net based on Capt. Bligh's plight in NSW. The time at Bay of Biscay would be expressed as a range within a few weeks when Antares is up and viewable with no Moon (pg 71), but for simplicity the date is about midrange of the available dates. Then, for arrival at Desolation Island the Wed and Thurs 12/24 and 12/25 are from page 262.

    I was wondering how you could be so specific as to an exact day.
    Gov Bligh's problems in NSW is the reason given for the voyage, but the Admiralty's information was sadly out of date. The 'other' mutiny against Bligh occurred in 1808. POB shifted the troubles to suit his story. In the previous book, Capt Aubrey was busy capturing Mauritius in the Indian Ocean until late December 1810. By the time he returned to England, settled at home for awhile, and then took up command of the Leopard, it would have been at least mid-1811.

    The two dates provided by POB, Dec 24 & 25, are traceable to the 1789 voyage of the Guardian to NSW. On Dec 24 of that year, the Guardian struck an iceberg and almost foundered. POB had a similar fate befall the Leopard, in the same waters. He used these particular dates because he was borrowing from the log of the Guardian to describe the events aboard.

    BTW, the Guardian set sail in mid-September of 1789, on its way to a Christmas Eve rendezvous with the iceberg in the Indian Ocean. I've checked a few of its log entries against the locations listed by POB in the book, and have not found any strong correspondence, other than the Christmas events.

    Don Seltzer
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