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message 1: by Jan (new)

Jan Notzon | 212 comments Are there any mathematicians with whom I might consult? I'm writing a novel that involves a wind ship in the 19th century and I need help with the spherical trigonomentry (although even knowledge of plane trig would help) involved in navigation. Please either answer this post, PM me or let me know how I can get in touch with you.

MIGHTY MIGHTY THANKS!


message 2: by Vera (new)

Vera Angelova | 14 comments Can't you do without?
Leave the characters who are supposed to breath this kind of knowledge, act as if they indisputably do, while you focus on something you are rather comfortable with.
Asking because I am good in both wind and trigonometry but I don't imagine myself being hooked by a book that goes into the details of any of these.


message 3: by Jan (new)

Jan Notzon | 212 comments Vera: All I need is for the protagonist, a child prodigy, to find the error in the captain's calculations of longitude. I'm trying to teach myself trig now. I took it in high-school and calculus in college but that was back in the Pleistocene era. Would really appreciate your help.


message 4: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Cronin | 111 comments Vera, I've found that people, experts included, are very willing to help authors. When I needed information on Santa Monica's Little League teams, I contacted the org. via its website. For more than a year, the president who was also a coach provided me with answers to all of my questions. Consider contacting your local high school or college math department. You can promise them a mention in your acknowledgements and a free copy of the book. Good luck!


message 5: by Jim (last edited May 25, 2020 06:47PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic Jan wrote: "Are there any mathematicians with whom I might consult? I'm writing a novel that involves a wind ship in the 19th century and I need help with the spherical trigonomentry (although even knowledge o..."

Jan,

Most public libraries include sections dedicated to advanced math, the evolution of nautical technology, and both modern and primitive navigation techniques.

If your local library cannot provide the specific information and data you require, I guarantee you the librarian will locate a contact that can.


message 6: by John (new)

John Molloy | 19 comments Hi Jan,
You need to look at the men of the merchant navy, I am a master mariner and what you ask could come under my remit. I would need to know the year in question, is it well before celestial navigation, is it the sextant and sun for morning and noon position. There is also star sights which could be considered if the weather was cloudy and day sun sights were unavailable. There is a lot of possibilities to your question.
John


message 7: by Vera (last edited May 26, 2020 09:05AM) (new)

Vera Angelova | 14 comments Jan,

As I read, John (just above in this communication thread) would be much more helpful than myself. Nonetheless feel free to get in touch with any unresolved calcualtion questions.


message 8: by Jan (last edited May 26, 2020 01:30PM) (new)

Jan Notzon | 212 comments John wrote: "Hi Jan,
You need to look at the men of the merchant navy, I am a master mariner and what you ask could come under my remit. I would need to know the year in question, is it well before celestial na..."


John: Thanks so much for your response. It is mid/late 19th century, use of sextant and chronometer, I assume. It's the spherical trigonometry needed for determining longitude that is beyond me. All I need is for the protagonist to find an error in the captain's calculations. And it can be trigonometric, algebraic or even arithmetical (i.e. just carelessness), although I don't want the captain looking like an idiot. It could possibly be as they're coming into Madeira for restocking their wares.
Could you also tell me if, coming from Bremen, Ger, they would go through the Strait of Dover with a headwind, or is it too narrow?

Thanks again.

Jan


message 9: by John (new)

John Molloy | 19 comments Jan,
You've embarked on a very tricky subject, the taking of sights to determine the ship's position. Now I won't go into too much detail here but you are on the wrong track at present to concoct an error in the Captain's sight taking to put the ship in a position it shouldn't be in. You send me an email and I'll upload an authentic copy of the working of a sight from my own sight book, on an Atlantic crossing. Now Jan I'll also answer your question about sailing through the straits of Dover with a head on gale. There are so many factors involved here as to test your seamanship, and then decide if it was safe to try a passage.
Jan, e email molloyjo68@hotmail.com


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