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Bazza

The Last Word

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19 degrees 2 minutes is about a degree west of the outer edge of the Canary Is., 19 degrees east is the southern extreme of the Gulf of Sidra (Libya), or in what is now Montenegro.  Neither of those strike me as obvious points of reference.

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That's information I'm weak on.  There are a couple of situations with the Royal Navy where ships (even squadrons) were lost due to navigation errors, both by the on-board navigators and due to faulty data in the charts (longitude / latitude incorrect) or the astronomical almanacs (stars/sun/moon coordinates).  Such things were spectacular and it was a real scandal when it happened.

 

1 nautical mile is 1 minute of arc on a sphere that approximates the Earth.  Being a whole degree off is unthinkable (that's 60 miles plus, about 110 km).  Smaller amounts are possible, but I don't know about how good such data were over the run of history.

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Quote

A man said to the universe: 'Sir, I exist!'

 

'However,' replied the universe, 'The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.'

 

-- Stephen Crane

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