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    Re: The lost expedition of La Perouse
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2005 Jun 11, 03:05 EDT

    Marc, you wrote:
    "I assume what was recovered  was really an octant rather than a sextant?"
    Sextants were developed and  became popular originally for lunar distance
    observations. Many of their  features and their differences from octants can be
    traced to this usage. They  are generally metal, considerably more accurate,
    and of course have a larger arc  than octants. I would guess that de la Perouse
    shot lunars on his voyage and  since his logbook up to Botany Bay was sent
    home and presumably still exists,  maybe we can find out. Interestingly, at this
    time, the French almanac  "Connaissance des Temps" was only released one year
    in advance and so its lunar  distance tables would not have been particularly
    useful for a global journey  like this. Quite possibly, de la Perouse took
    copies of the British Nautical  Almanac with him since they were available
    several years in advance.
    Go  here:
    and scroll down to  the middle to see the sextant that was recovered from the
    wreck site (click to  enlarge).
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.

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