A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2016 Dec 8, 13:11 -0800
I had hoped that someone would take up the challenge of identifying the gentleman in the middle of the photo http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx/Two-men-Old-Man-stage-horizontal-angle-sights-DavidC-dec-2016-g37267 . No it’s not Elvis, or even John Wayne or Errol Flynn, but I do wonder if it might be Sir Ernest Shackleton for the reasons mentioned in my post below. The date would have to be adjusted slightly, because Sir Ernest died in January 1922, and our gentleman could do with being a little chunkier. I don’t think the vessel is the “Quest” and it’s not quite “Aurora” although it has to be said that the Captain looks very like John King Davis might have looked if he’d been a few years older in 1916. I don’t want to get into sextants, because our gentleman might have borrowed the one he’s using for the occasion. However, if the sextant came from the box in the foreground, the fact that it’s leather with a shoulder strap rather than mahogany with a brass handle suggests it’s for expedition work.
Another possibility is that our gentleman is Frank Worsley, whose physique is a slightly better fit. However, photos of Worsley show he favoured his left pocket for resting his hand in whereas our gentleman and Shackleton appear to have more wear on their right-hand pockets. You have to be careful here, because some photos of Worsley on the www show his hand in his right-hand pocket, but those photos also show his coat with its RHS over its LHS showing someone reversed the negative at some stage.
A new photo of either of these gentlemen would be quite useful, because the existing ones appear again and again on the www, and some are even claimed by copyright agencies. DaveP
DavidC you posted Two unidentified men looking through sextants
Was the middle man unknown? Clearly respected by ships officers. Good quality, but well worn suit and waistcoat suggests any current finance better spent on equipment. Binoculars within reach. Irish?? tweed cap worn back to front (Wikipedia clip shows he did own one) . Every finger a marlin spike. Retained weather-beaten tan. Thinner now than in earlier snaps. NZ photo library suggests South Atlantic connection. Tie pin worn in shirt collar behind knot. Or it might be his pal. Any ideas? DaveP