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    Re: Questions about Celestial Navigation
    From: Francis Upchurch
    Date: 2018 Sep 18, 11:56 +0100

    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@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 
    > 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 
    > 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 
    > More to life than scientific "facts". Maybe we have not yet discovered all the "facts".
    > Best wishes
    > Francis
    > View and reply to this message
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