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    Re: On polar nav
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2002 Sep 11, 21:55 -0400

    Amundsen "circled the pole for a radius of 12.5 miles; that is, he sent
    three men out in three different directions: to at right angles to his
    incoming course and one to continue along the course that lead them (dead
    reckoning) to the pole.
    They took dozens of sextant observations from various positions along these
    radii for a period of three days from December 14 - 17, 1911, until they
    had, in Amundsen's words: "done all that could be done".
    This is the very short, simplified version. Perhaps another member can do a
    better job than I. I suggest that you get a hold of Amundsen's book: The
    South Pole, Vol II. The method by which he conducted his observations is
    described in detail on pages 125 - 134.
    With regard to Robert E. Peary, I strongly suggest that you read the
    following books:
    The Noose of Laurels - Wally Herbert
    Peary at the North Pole: Fact or Fiction? - Dennis Rawlins
    Antarctica: My Destiny - Captain, USN, Finn Ronne
    Robert Eno
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Peter Fogg 
    Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 6:18 PM
    Subject: On polar nav
    > Am reading 'Robert E. Peary at the North Pole' A Report to the National
    > Geographic Society by The Foundation for the Promotion of the Art of
    > Navigation.
    > It has, not unexpectedly, much data on the navigation involved. There is
    > a map showing his track, which indicates he over-ran his latitude by a
    > few miles (kept going north until he was heading south again) and the
    > implication is that this ensured he reached the pole, given the
    > limitations of his instruments - within about 5 miles.
    > This raises a question, which was put as an assertion by a 'reliable
    > source' - that the thing to do, and the thing done, was to set out from
    > the polar camp and follow a circle around it, so that the actual pole,
    > if a little way off, would be encompassed and any subsequent doubts
    > about exact postion would
    > be laid to rest. The book doesn't mention this, although the track on
    > the map indicates Peary was off a little to one side (to the left while
    > facing north).
    > Some time ago there was some discussion on the list about polar
    > navigation. Amundsen apparently camped and measured the sun's altitude
    > thoughout the day. Although I have no reason to doubt that these
    > measurements were taken with great care surely there would be a
    > practical limit to just how precise a spot they could indicate.
    > Does anybody know whether Amundsen did send out a party to circle his
    > polar camp? I know Scott found Amundsen's black tent and accepted this
    > as the pole, so I guess he didn't describe any circles.

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