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    W. Wales in Churchull (reply and questions to Ken)
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2012 Mar 23, 16:00 -0700

    Ken,

    I read the report of William Wales with interest.
    But I am somewhat confused.
    What do you think was the purpose of his trip?
    He seems to be an astronomer, and received his instructions from Maskelyne.
    On the way to and from (next year) he describes some routine observations
    at sea, of the sort his captain also makes.
    He arrived to Churchill, builds an observatory with a clock and a mural quadrant.

    And then he says that from Sept 12 1768 to August 28 1769 "I kept no journal,
    except for the weather..."
    He was walking around, collecting plants which he even did not know how to keep,
    visited hunter's cabin etc. And on August 28 when a new ship arrived he started
    packing.

    What was the purpose of his trip? What was the purpose of the observatory?

    Yes, he indeed mentions refraction that lifts the horizon.
    On p. 131, in a footnote, he says that the mean error was 10'...
    which "appears to be extremelly well founded". Indeed, he compared
    observations with sea horizon with those with a plumb line.
    Still in the journal, not a single observation with a plumb line is described.
    All he says is that there was a "prodigeous difference".
    And that the altitudes from sea horizon were smaller that from the plumb line.
    These things look very strange to me.

    Do you have a clue?

    Alex.
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