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    Re: Questions about Celestial Navigation
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2018 Sep 18, 10:44 -0400
    Thanks Francis!  I hope Meg sees your reply.

    It firmly establishes that western CN became aware of a Polynesian system, albeit apparently without the details.  

    By the time of Cook's travels, western CN had chronometers, lunar and a fully developed system of navigation.  The affect the Polynesian system had on the western system at that time was fairly small.  Tupaia produced a map of the surrounding islands, which Cook utilized.  Cartography is relevant to CN as it refers to fixed points of land that you may wish to journey to.  Cook journeyed to (some) of the islands indicated by Tupaia.  QED, we have a documented contribution.  

    Paul brought up The Raft Book as an example of Polynesian contribution to western CN.  I reviewed the article but haven't read the book. It appeared to me to be more of a sales and marketing campaign (Navigate like the Polynesians!  Especially since you may be shot down in the area!) rather than an actual use of the Polynesian system as described.  I stand ready to be corrected on this point.  



    On Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 9:54 AM Francis Upchurch <NoReply_Upchurch@fer3.com> wrote:

    Hi Brad,
    Apologies for the delays. Been unusually busy.
    As Frank has pointed out, the main source of Cook's knowledge was the exiled priest/navigator Tupaia (from Raiatea) who joined Endeavour at Tahiti for the voyage as far as Batavia where he unfortunately died of fever (?malaria) +/- scurvy. The relationship was frustratingly inconsistent, whereas Tupaia leaned reasonable English, Cook and Banks never really understood him. 
    Cook seemed impressed with his ability to know where he was hundreds of miles from visible land, but somehow managed to not discover the underlying techniques. (trade secrets as Frank said).Perhaps he never asked?!
    So Cook was pretty convinced that the remarkable spread of Polynesian people across thousands of miles of pacific was the result of both deliberate  voyages (with returns and repeat trips) presumably requiring accurate navigation, + random/accidental drift.
    Most of the theories about techniques have come from later historians and even modern experimental "re-enactments".
    However, here a few references from Cook's time.
    1) David Lewis. We the Navigators.pgs8-11, 342-345 . Cook on Tupaia ..." on the journey from Tahiti to Batavia,  over 2000 leagues distance, despite the circuitous route from 48 degrees S to 4 degrees N, he was never at a loss to point to Tahiti..."
    Also "these people sail from island to island for several hundred leagues, the sun serving as a compass by day and the moon and stars at night..."
    Tupaia supplied Cook with a "Map (pg 343), which included many of the islands within a few hundred miles of Tahiti, not accurately displayed in lat and long, but useful to Cook nevertheless.
    Tupaia helped Cook to sail to both Raiatea (several hundred miles) and Rurutu, the latter apparently using stars, but with no details given!
    2) Beaglehole. The Life of james Cook. Pg 192.
    3)Endeavour. Peter Aughton . Pgs 121, map  132, 135.
    4) Cooks Journals.pgs 65-110.
    Sorry not a comprehensive list. We are very short of hard data on this.
    Best wishes
    -----Original Message-----
    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Brad Morris
    Sent: 13 September 2018 23:46
    To: francis{at}pharmout.co.uk
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Questions about Celestial Navigation
    Hello Francis
    Would you mind terribly posting some links to Cook's writings on Polynesian
    navigation?  Your familiarity will help Meg's paper!
    If the link is not directly to the phrases, would you mind indicating the
    page numbers?
    On Wed, Sep 12, 2018, 2:17 PM Francis Upchurch 
    > Read David Lewis "We the navigators".
    > I re-read most of Cook on this and think he was mightily impressed with the Polynesian navigation techniques.
    > Most of my sailing is local and the navigation mostly coastal pilotage. Transit marks are often more accurate than GPS. Experience, feel and "smell" seem to get me out of most tight situations. I very rarely need GPS check. Radar is good though with rocks and fishing boats all around. Cook managed without that. So did I 20 years ago. Have a good look out. Number one eyeball.
    > For ocean sailing, the Polynesian mental star maps they memorised seem unbelievable, but they did get there and return and get there again. So something must have worked.
    > They also knew the prevailing winds, currents and animal behaviour. The "smell" of the thing.
    > Gut feel is I agree with Geoffrey. I have seen this in all branches of life, medicine etc. Humans often outperform what we expect from objective science data.
    > Humans did a lot of ocean sailing hundreds of years before Cook and  modern CN became available. It worked whatever they did. Actions speak louder than words.
    > More to life than scientific "facts". Maybe we have not yet discovered all the "facts".
    > Best wishes
    > Francis
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