A Voyage Guided by the Stars and the Men who Mapped the World's Oceans
Author: David Barrie
Category: Nautical astronomy
In the tradition of Dava Sobel's 'Longitude' comes sailing expert David Barrie's compelling and dramatic tale of invention and discovery - an eloquent elegy to one of the most important navigational instruments ever created, and the daring mariners who used it to explore, conquer, and map the world.
With 2014 marking the tercentenary of the Longitude Act, this eloquent celebration of the sextant tells the story of this elegant instrument and explores its vital role in man’s attempts to map the world.
A monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world's waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human. Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea with our ancestors' first forays from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas. He demonstrates the critical role of maritime trade to.
A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World's Oceans
Author: David Barrie
Publisher: Harper Collins
In the tradition of Dava Sobel's Longitude comes sailing expert David Barrie's compelling and dramatic tale of invention and discovery—an eloquent elegy to one of the most important navigational instruments ever created, and the daring mariners who used it to explore, conquer, and map the world. Since its invention in 1759, a mariner's most prized possession has been the sextant. A navigation tool that measures the angle between a celestial object and the horizon, the sextant allowed sailors to pinpoint their exact location at sea. David Barrie chronicles the sextant's development and shows how it not only saved the lives of navigators in wild and dangerous seas, but played a pivotal role in their ability to map the globe. He synthesizes centuries of seafaring history and the daring sailors who have become legend, including James Cook, Matthew Flinders, Robert Fitz-Roy, Frank Worsley of the Endurance, and Joshua Slocum, the redoubtable old "lunarian" and first single-handed-round-the-world yachtsman. He also recounts his own maiden voyage, and insights gleaned from his experiences as a practiced seaman and navigator. Full of heroism, danger, and excitement, told with an infectious sense of wonder, Sextant offers a new look at a masterful achievement that changed the course of history.
The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The scientific establishment of Europe-from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
Author: Richard Dunn,National Maritime Museum (Great Britain),Rebekah Higgitt,Royal Museums Greenwich
300 years ago, amidst growing frustration from the naval community and pressure from the increasing importance of international trade, the British government passed the 1714 Longitude Act. It was an attempt to solve one of the most pressing problems of the age: how to determine a ship's longitude (east-west position) at sea. With life-changing rewards on offer, the challenge captured the imaginations and talents of astronomers, skilled craftsmen, politicians, seamen and satirists. This illustrated book is a detailed account of these stories, and how the longitude problem was solved.
When the Romans retreated from northern Europe, they left behind lands of barbarians at the very edge of the known world. Yet a thousand years later the countries surrounding the North Sea were at the heart of scientific, mercantile and artistic enlightenments and controlled the first truly global empires. In The Edge of the World, Michael Pye explains how a small but treacherous body of water inspired the saints, spies, fisherman, pirates, traders and marauders who lived beside and journeyed across the North Sea to give birth to our modern world. Hugely enjoyable.' Tom Holland, Guardian 'Pye is a wonderful historian.' Terry Jones 'Astonishing. A treasure chest.' The Times 'A dazzling historical adventure.' Daily Telegraph 'Extraordinary . . . fascinating.' Observer
The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud
Author: Tracey Fern
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Ellen Prentiss's papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage: out of New York City, down around the tip of Cape Horn, and into San Francisco, where the Gold Rush was well under way. In a time when few women even accompanied their husbands onboard, Ellen Prentiss navigated their ship to set the world record for speed along that route. A Margaret Ferguson Book
From the Bronze Age mariners of the Mediterranean to contemporary sailors using satellite-based technologies, the history of navigation at sea, the art of finding a position and setting a course, is fascinating. The scientific and technological developments that have enabled accurate measurements of position were central to exploration, trade, and the opening up of new continents, and the resulting journeys taken under their influence have had a profound influence on world history. In this Very Short Introduction Jim Bennett looks at the history of navigation, starting with the distinctive cultures of navigation that are defined geographically - the Mediterranean Sea, and the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. He shows how the adoption of mathematical methods, the use of instruments, the writing of textbooks and the publication of charts all combined to create a more standardised practice. Methods such as longitude-finding by chronometer and lunar distance were complemented by the routine business of recording courses and reckoning position 'by account'. Bennett also introduces the incredible array of instruments relied on by sailors, from astrolabes, sextants, and chronometers, to our more modern radio receivers, electronic equipment, and charts, and highlights the crucial role played by the individual qualities of endeavour and resourcefulness from mathematicians, scientists, and seamen in finding their way at sea. The story of navigation combines the societal, the technical, and the human, and it was vital for shaping the modern world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Essential Guide for Every Sailor - Learn How to Master One of the Oldest Mariner's Arts
Author: Tom Cunliffe
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Sports & Recreation
Celestial navigation is one of the oldest of the mariner’s arts – and one of the most awe-inspiring. It is also essential for every ocean sailor who wants to be able to fix his position should the GPS fail. Tom Cunliffe shows you how to master the art in easy stages. Within a few pages you’ll be taking your first sight. From there it is a short step to plotting your position, wherever you may be on the world’s oceans. Whether you need to pass an exam, want a back-up to GPS positioning or simply choose to delight in the wonder of the cosmos, this is the perfect guide. With photographs, charts and diagrams to help your learning, you will be able to master the sextant and navigate using the sun, moon, planets and stars.
A history of weather forecasting, and an animated portrait of the nineteenth-century pioneers who made it possible By the 1800s, a century of feverish discovery had launched the major branches of science. Physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy made the natural world explicable through experiment, observation, and categorization. And yet one scientific field remained in its infancy. Despite millennia of observation, mankind still had no understanding of the forces behind the weather. A century after the death of Newton, the laws that governed the heavens were entirely unknown, and weather forecasting was the stuff of folklore and superstition. Peter Moore's The Weather Experiment is the account of a group of naturalists, engineers, and artists who conquered the elements. It describes their travels and experiments, their breakthroughs and bankruptcies, with picaresque vigor. It takes readers from Irish bogs to a thunderstorm in Guanabara Bay to the basket of a hydrogen balloon 8,500 feet over Paris. And it captures the particular bent of mind—combining the Romantic love of Nature and the Enlightenment love of Reason—that allowed humanity to finally decipher the skies.
Author: Andrew K. Johnston,Roger D. Connor,Carlene E. Stephens,Paul E. Ceruzzi
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
If you want to know where you are, you need a good clock. The surprising connection between time and place is explored in Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There, the companion book to the National Air and Space Museum exhibition of the same name. Today we use smartphones and GPS, but navigating has not always been so easy. The oldest "clock" is Earth itself, and the oldest means of keeping time came from observing changes in the sky. Early mariners like the Vikings accomplished amazing feats of navigation without using clocks at all. Pioneering seafarers in the Age of Exploration used dead reckoning and celestial navigation; later innovations such as sextants and marine chronometers honed these techniques by measuring latitude and longitude. When explorers turned their sights to the skies, they built on what had been learned at sea. For example, Charles Lindbergh used a bubble sextant on his record-breaking flights. World War II led to the development of new flight technologies, notably radio navigation, since celestial navigation was not suited for all-weather military operations. These forms of navigation were extended and enhanced when explorers began guiding spacecraft into space and across the solar system. Astronauts combined celestial navigation technology with radio transmissions. The development of the atomic clock revolutionized space flight because it could measure billionths of a second, thereby allowing mission teams to navigate more accurately. Scientists and engineers applied these technologies to navigation on earth to develop space-based time and navigation services such as GPS that is used every day by people from all walks of life. While the history of navigation is one of constant change and innovation, it is also one of remarkable continuity. Time and Navigation tells the story of navigation to help us understand where we have been and how we got there so that we can understand where we are going.
By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize | Includes a new Afterword by David Mitchell A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity. Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history. But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky. As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon. Praise for Cloud Atlas “[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review “One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers “Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People “The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon “Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.”—The Washington Post Book World “Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step.”—Boston Sunday Globe “Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate.”—Los Angeles Times From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Memoirs of James Lowry, a Young Surgeon in Nelson's Mediterranean Fleet
Author: James Lowry
The frank and revealing memoirs of James Lowry, a young surgeon in Nelson's Mediterranean fleet 1797 to 1804. This is his hand-written journal, never intended for publication, describing his rugged life afloat and fascinating (often erotic) adventures ashore. As one reviewer wrote, it is a "fantastic primary [historical] source and is full of firsthand accounts of several conflicts in His Majesty's Navy. While he describes details of battles hitherto unknown or lost to legend, personal details give a fuller understanding of the period's culture and daily life. These things are priceless and most often lost [when] over edited or in fictional accounts of history." Lowry, classically educated in Ireland, apparently went to sea for no better reason than to satisfy his sense of adventure. He experienced plenty of naval action from just after the battle of the Nile, but what seems to particularly engage his interest (and enthusiasm) was the relaxed sexual mores of Italian society. Intended only for the eyes of his younger brother in Ireland he recounts his land-based escapades with relish, and perhaps in rather more detail than then was proper. In addition to his liaisons with lissome ladies, Lowry faced a number of life-and-death situations. Once, while calmly treating a wounded marine during a land battle a cannonball took off the head of a good friend right beside him, temporarily blinding Lowry with gore. During his enlistment he survived a terrifying shipwreck as well as an assassin's stiletto. He also had a guided tour of an Arab potentate's harem. All in all, quite a varied and interesting life. The modern reader is fortunate to have Lowry's fascinating narrative and personal anecdotes that have remained hidden in the hands of his descendants for more than two centuries.