December, 1998

My email to Brian:

>Brian, re. errors in Bourne's declination tables:>>

>the new numbers as follows;>
>C Cove; sees sun at 74 36, determines 38 25>
>Estero; sees sun at 74 53, determines 38 08>
>Bolinas; sees sun at 74 60, determines 37 01>>

>Overall, the errors [for June 25, 1579, O.C.] are +2 min for longitude +4 min for declination errors in Bourne. Bourne saw the orbit of the sun as circular, and his interpolations reflect that. Knight fixed things in 1599 with his corrected tables.>>

>Because the determinations are therefore moved up an additional 4min, It seems to me that as far as reading the scale goes, it matters not which (large/small) astrolabe is used--it all works out with 1/2 deg readings.>>

> Unless I've missed something, it seems to me that Drake should (with no reading error and no sighting error) get 38 25 at C Cove; it doesn't matter whether he can read the scale to 1/2 deg or 10min--the thing points at 38 30 anyway.>>

> And if Drake is there for five weeks, and repeats and averages enough sightings, it doesn't matter if his sighting error is +/- 10 min or 30 min--sooner or later he gets 38 30. Same for other sites. He would have to keep compounding the error of both variables in the same direction over and over to get anything else. Bob>>

And Brian's response:

>Bob, this is awesome. This is extremely important and extremely powerful evidence in support of the Campbell Cove theory. Please check these numbers again, and again and again very very carefully.>>

>If it checks out. WOW!!!!!!This puts a whole new light on things. Maybe I'm not in the best position to form an objective opinion on the matter, but from where I sit, if 38 25 is indeed the correct Elizabethan latitude for Campbell Cove (and Campbell Cove is ultimately proven to be the correct Drake spot), your paper will constitute an important contribution to maritime history.>>

<George Davidson, Ray Aker and the "Navigators" Guild, Samuel Eliot Morrison, Derek Wilson, Allan Villiers: look at all the bloody experts that had the opportunity to do what you have done. And even me. I tried to turn over every stone, but I never would have figured that stuff out. Brian>>

Read the paper.

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Bob Graham