It appears that sea navigation in the South has historically been a difficult endeavor. While ship logs from the southern seas are difficult to find online, we do find the following:
On p.30 of Zetetic Cosmogony by Thomas Winship we read:
“ Sir Robert Ball, in his Story of the Heavens,” page 163, informs the reader that;
- "The dimensions of the earth are known with a high degree of accuracy"
This writer is recognised as an able exponent of globular hypotheses, and it is generally conceded that what he says may be regarded as correct. Let us now enquire with what high degree of accuracy the dimensions of the earth are known. If the earth be the globe it is generally said to be, it is evident that the further we go south from the equator, the smaller will the circles be, and no circle south of the equator could be equal to that at the equator.
The SS Nithsdale , of Glasgow, Captain Hadden, sailed from Hamelin Bay, in Western Australia, on 8th January, 1898, arriving at Port Natal on 1st February, 1898, having steamed 4,519 nautical miles. Her log, of which the chief officer, Mr. Boyle (also a passed Master), kindly gave me a copy, shows that she did not make quite a rhomb line track.
Hamelin Bay is in latitude 34° south and longitude 115° 5' east. Port Natal is situate in latitude 29 0 53' south and 31° 4' east longitude. The difference of latitude being so small, we shall not get far out if we take the middle latitude, viz,: 32° south. The difference of longitude is 84° 1' or 4.28 of the complete circle of 360° round the world. Something must be added to the ship's log so as to bring the distance up to the rhomb line track, say 100 miles; therefore, to find the distance round the world at 32° south it is only necessary to solve the following problem:
- As 84° 1' : 360° : : 4,619 nautical or 5,390 statute miles,
- : X. Answer = 23,000 miles, nearly.
This is several thousand miles in excess of what the distance would or could be on a globe. And further south on a globe, the distance would be less. ”
“ Lieutenant Wilkes says that in less than 18 hours he was 20 miles to the east of his reckoning, in latitude 54 0 20' South. ”
“ In the southern hemisphere, navigators to India have often fancied themselves east of the Cape when still west, and have been driven ashore on the African coast, which, according to their reckoning, lay behind them. This misfortune happened to a fine frigate, the Challenger, in 1845. How came Her Majesty’s Ship Conqueror, to be lost? How have so many other noble vessels, perfectly sound, perfectly manned, perfectly navigated, been wrecked in calm weather, not only in dark night, or in a fog, but in broad daylight and sunshine from being out of reckoning? ”
“ In the “Cruise of H.M.S. Challenger" by W. J, J. Spry, the distance made good from the Cape of Good Hope to Melbourne is stated to be 7,637 miles. The Cape is in latitude 34° 21' south and Melbourne in latitude 37° south, the longitude of the Cape being 18° 30' east and Melbourne 145° east. The middle latitude is 35 1/2°. Difference of longitude 126 1/2°, which makes the distance round the world at that latitude (35 1/2°) to be over 25,000 statute miles and as great as the equator is said to be. Thus we see on reliable evidence that the further we go south the greater is the distance round the world. This latter distance is many thousand miles more than the purely theoretical measurement of the world at that latitude south. From the same work, we find the distance from Sydney to Wellington to be 1,432 miles. The middle latitude is 374°, and the difference of longitude 23° 36', which gives as the distance round the world at latitude 37 1/2° south, 25,500 satute miles! This distance is again greater than the greatest distance round the "globe" is said to be and many thousands of miles greater than could be the case on a globe. Thus, on purely practical data, apart from any theory, the world is proved to diverge as the south is approached and not to converge, as it would do on a globe. ”
South Sea Voyages
“ In "South Sea Voyages:" by Sir James C. Ross, Vol. 1, page 96 states:
- "We found ourselves every day from 12 to 18 miles by observation in advance of our reckoning"
- "By our observations at noon we found ourselves 58 miles to the eastward of our reckoning in two days" ”
Voyages Towards the South Pole
“ "Voyage towards the South Pole," by Captain Jas, Weddell, states:
- "Feb. 11th. at noon, in lat. 65° 53' South, our chronometers gave 44 miles more Westing than the log in three days" ”
Anston's Voyage Round The World
“ In "Anson’s Voyage round the World," by R. Walter, page 76, the following statement is made:
- "It was indeed, most wonderful that the currents should have driven us to the eastward with such strength; for the whole squadron esteemed themselves upwards of 10 degrees more westerly than this land (Straits of Magellan); so that in running down, by our account, about 19 degrees of longitude, we had not really advanced half that distance" ”
On pg. 396 of Alexander Gleason's book Is the Bible from Heaven? Is the Earth a Globe?, its author relays the following:
“ We are now ready to offer our final evidence for the consideration of all parties.
Following is the coast tracing of the west coast of South Africa, also eastern coast of South America, each bearing its relative position to each other in both latitude and longitude, and relative' positions on the Equator. We style the illustration fig. 42. We will further state that this tracing is from a small-sized globe map, which we preferred for convenience, but it will be found to agree very closely, so far as relative coast-lines, latitude, longitude and distances are concerned, with the best maps known. ”
“ We have made a scale of degrees of longitude from Washington east to the meridian of 105° on the continent of Africa. Now, if we take the extreme distance on the Equator between Africa and South America, we find it to be 56° of longitude, and these equal 3,360 miles from A to A on the scale, but if we allow the globe theorists all they claim for curvature, it would be about sixty miles more, and thus it stands on the scale, 3,420 miles. Now, if we measure the distance between Cape of Good Hope on the scale and Cape Horn, we will find the two distances to very closely agree. Now, if one inch represents one thousand miles on the Equator, on water, it certainly represents one thousand miles in every other place on the same globe scale. We next take the distance from Cape of Good Hope to Buenos Ayres, which is 60° or 3,600 miles, according to the same scale or any other globe scale in the land made by “scientific and educated men.” So much for authentic theory, and we will next see what the authentic, practical, and experienced navigator says in regard to these distances and the very shortest time ever made between these places by the best class of steamships, built by the best builders that Europe affords, and at the expense of the East India Government.
In order to procure these facts it has taken considerable time, and no expense has deterred us from securing facts which is now a great relief and pleasure to give to the world. We trust the reader will bear patiently with us while we give the demonstrated facts in the case.
About the middle of November, 1891, I put the following notice in the New York World:
- Wanted — The address of an unlimited number of navigators or sea-faring persons who have made the voyage or voyages between the following places, and can give the distances in knots, and approximate time in days, of making the several voyages: No. 1 —Cape Town, Africa, to Buenos Ayres or Montevideo. No. 2—Cape Town, Africa, to Cape Horn, etc.; others of which we will not take time to mention, of which we have time, measurements, etc.
From the most experienced, or he who furnished the best references, we selected the information; no one knowing for what purpose we wanted the desired knowledge, or anything in regard to our views. The following became my informant in regard to the desired information:
53 Woodward Ave., South Norwalk, Ct. November 23, 1891.
- Alex. Gleason, Esq.:
- Dear Sir — Seeing the enclosed [which he cut from the paper advertisement ] I wish to say that I can give you the required information, having served in the Cape Horn, west coast of South America, and Australian trade for several years, as second officer of steamer Lochinvar, Abbey Town and Palgrave. Awaiting further information concerning your terms, believe me
- Respectfully yours,
- Charles B, Browne.
[reply to my second letter.]
- Dear Sir — In reply to your letter received today, I wish to state to you how far I can meet your requirements. First, to satisfy you that I am what l claim to be, and qualified to give you all the information required, the number of my certificate is 014358, licensed on June 4, 1884, in London, England, by the Lords of Privy Council for trade. Second, certificates of discharge: No. 1, four mast - steamship Palgrave; No. 2, steamship Compta; No. 3, ship Huron, put back disabled; No. 4, transferred to Abbey Town, bound to South America and N. S. W., and Chili, South America. Served on this voyage from October 6, 1886 to October 7, 1887. This is the date of my last official discharge. The above certificates are now in my possession.
- From charts used during my service in the ships named, I can give you all the information required; but cannot from ship’s log book....At the same time, I can and will gladly, give you all the information you want from my charts....
- Thanking you for enclosed, believe me,
- Yours respectfully,
- Charles B. Browne.
- P. S. — I have also letters for service and ability, signed by Captains Dunn, Tullis, Thomas and Andrus, and Chief Officer Adams. C. B. B.
[Third Letter, December 10 1891]
- Alex. Gleason, Esq.:
- Dear Sir....The courses and distances are all taken from charts used in steamships Lochinvar, Abbey Town, Compta and Palgrave. I would state that the distances are in all cases worked to geographical or nautical miles, sixty of which are equal to sixty-nine and one-fourth English miles. You are, no doubt, aware that there is 6070 feet to the nautical mile; this is often the cause of dispute with regard to the distance from port to port, many people not being aware of the difference between a nautical and statute mile. Distances, course and time are as follows:
- First — Cape Town to B. Ayres ; course, west by 6° south; distance, 4560 miles. Best time record known, steamship Lochinvar, Capt. Shelly* 13 days, 13 hours, 45 minutes.
- Second — Cape Town to Cape Horn; course, west by 24° south; distance. 5700 miles. Best time on record, Abbey Town, Capt. Tullis, 13 days and 23 hours.
- Yours respectfully,
- Charles B. Browne.
It would be useless to weary the patient reader with all the details of voyages, distance and time that this navigator has given to Aukland, N. Z., Sydney, Australia, etc. But it is well worth while to now consider the above carefully.
First — If we take any globe map of the world and measure the distance from the Cape of Good Hope to Buenos Ayres, we will find it from 180 to 200 miles further than it is from Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn. Bear this in mind. The navigator says that from Cape Good Hope to Cape Horn is 5700 miles, and he gives the course. This would throw Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, back to B and South America back to C, and make that distance, which theory shows to be the least by about 200 miles, the greatest by 1,140 miles.
Second — We will notice that at A A is represented a pin head on the Equator and on the coast lines of the two continents; this would hold the two coast lines in position on the Equator, which is an undisputed point. But if we take these continents and open their southern points to B. C. it will give the degrees of longitude that divergency required on the principle of the earth a plane, and Capt. Browne would be all right with his Mercator charts. But what has become of our New York friend’s requirements in regard to the degrees of longitude? This we will see further on as we examine the ship’s time record.
To the above fact I wrote Captain Browne, calling his attention to this discrepancy of distance, and after waiting until a reply was past due, I wrote a second letter, stating that perhaps there was some mistake in the figures, thinking they had got them transposed by some means in giving the numerous calculations. I stated to him that I had measured the distance on several globe maps with a fine steel line and they all told the same story. Further, I did not wish to publish a mistake of this kind, if such it was. To this last, and the first, I received the following pert reply:
- February 14, 1892.
- Alex. Gleason, Esq.:
- Dear Sir — I have received both your letters. But having been away from home in my steamer, and when at home, very busy, I have been unable to attend to your request before this. In reply, would say that I don’t pretend to know anything about working nautical questions with a tape-line. Furthermore, am very much surprised to learn from you that Cape Horn is 200 miles nearer Cape Town than Buenos Ayres. I don’t take nearest points when working these questions, but degree of latitude and longitude. And if the following latitudes and longitudes are wrong, then the Admirality Charts in my possession are wrong:
- Lat. of Cape Town..34 0 24' S. Long, of Cape Town..18°32' E.
- Lat. of B. Ayres...34 0 30' S. Long, of B. Ayres...58°00' W.
- Lat. of Cape Horn..55 0 59' S. Long, of Cape Horn..67°12' W.
- If you can make Buenos Ayres 200 miles nearer Cape Town from these figures, there is no need for me to work any questions for you. Please take notice that the questions worked for you were done so by Mercator’s Sailing Chart, which is our usual way of finding course and distance from point to point. Allow me to say that Cape Horn is nothing more than a rock, so whatever point you take don’t amount to a row of pins.
- Yours respectfully,
- Charles B. Browne.
It was my interrogatory letter that has called forth these statements from Captain Browne, which to his mind did not amount to a “row of pins,” and perhaps had he previously known my purpose in calling forth these responses, the value of what I would have gotten from that source would have been less than the estimate that he has put upon it. Nevertheless, Captain Browne is all right with his charts, his degrees, his latitudes and longitudes, also the time record’s which we next notice.
Before going too far with the considerations of the relative or comparative time, mentioned by our challenger in the forepart of this article, under the indicator C, it will be necessary to notice the very best time ever made by the best crafts that float the northern seas, and perhaps the medium, also. We have entered no confederacy with steamship lines, but have procured some catalogues from which we have clipped two leaves for the benefit and interest of those who wish to be informed on these matters. First, we give one abstract of log, '‘Norddeutscher,” Lloyd’s Steamship Line, Captain H. Hellmers, from Southampton to New York. ”
“ We give the above log, that the readers may see and be able to judge, in regard to variations of the vessel’s course from point to point or port to port.
The following is a copy verbatim from the Hamburg-American Packet Company's catalogue, J. W. Klauck, agent, 70 Exchange street, Buffalo, N. Y.:
- "Speed —These steamers have at once stepped to the front rank among ocean greyhounds, and must be counted among the fastest ships afloat. The best time accomplished was six days and twelve hours from New York to Southampton, being the fastest trip ever made between these two ports. This is equal to a trip of five days and twenty-one hours from New York to Queenstown, Southampton being about 300 miles east from Queenstown. The time by rail from Southampton to London is; two hours. The landing arrangements at Southampton are considered superior to those of any port in England, the trains, starting from the docks and the Hamburg-American Packet Company’s special trains awaiting the passengers there. During the past three years steamers have maintained a regular fast weekly express service between New York, Southampton and Hamburg, taking passengers to London within seven days, and to Hamburg within eight days, while the actual average ocean passage is reduced to a little more than six days. This line, according to the annual report of the United States Superintendent of Foreign Mails, takes the first place over all others in the conveyance of the mails between New York and London. Their great regularity is indicated by the fact that almost all trips were made within a margin of a few hours. The arrival at New York, Southampton or Hamburg can therefore be easily forecast."
Passengers leaving New York on Thursday are landed in Southampton on the following Thursday, reaching London on the same day, thus bringing them from New York to London in less than a week (it has been done in six days and 16 hours, a feat not equaled by any other line.) This shows the wonderful convenience which these steamers offer to the traveling public.
The fastest runs were about twenty and three-fourths knots per hour, which is equal to 23 7/8 English miles, and exceed the speed of transcontinental trains.
- TIME RECORDS
- SPECIMEN RUNS — FROM NEW YORK
- Furst Bismarck, June 18, ’91.........6d. 12h. 58m.
- Columbia, Oct. 9, ’90................6d. 15h. 0m.
- Normannia, Nov. 20, ’90..............6d. 17h. 03m.
- Augusta-Victoria, Sept. 18, ’90......6d. 22h. 32m.
- FROM SOUTHAMPTON.
- Furst Bismarck, May 9, ’91...........6d. 14h. 15m.
- Columbia, June 27, ’91...............6d. 15h. 58m.
- Normannia, May 21, ’91...............6d. 16h. 45m.
- Augusta-Victoria, Oct. 2, ’90........6d. 22h. 30m.
We will consider first,the build of these South-sea steamers as compared with those of our latest pattern. We are informed by the agent, Mr. J. W. Klauck, and others tell us that these South-sea steamers are all built by the same class of builders, or same building company, on the Clyde in Europe. The steamship Abbey Town, we were informed by Capt. Browne, was built by the East India government for this special southern trade, and it is this that gives the best time on record in the southern seas. Between New York and Hamburg, and Cape Town and Cape Horn, there is but about 1° 30' difference, or say 100 miles, according to the globe measurement; that is, if we measure the difference from Hamburg to New York on a globe map with dividers, then place them on Cape Town and they will only lack about one degree and a half of reaching Cape Horn. Now, so far as danger or contingencies are concerned in making the voyages in a given equal time, the one preferred to the other, the South Sea has the advantage. This is shown on the navigator’s charts, both in currents, rocks, shoals, islands, etc. This can be seen on the ordinary Mercator map of the world.
The question now resolves itself to this: On the globe principle, Cape Town to Cape Horn 3,600 miles; best time ever made 10 3/4 miles per hour, 335 hours = 3,601 miles. If the above be true, the Cape Horn steamer was six days making up that existing difference of one hundred miles in distance, under the most favorable circumstances, and this the very best time ever known!
We will now look at the matter from another standpoint. We will allow the northern navigators all they claim for distance and time. We now ask that the southern navigators and nautical inspectors be allowed their 1 moderate'claims for both time and distance, namely: Cape Town to Cape Horn, 5,700 miles. Time: 13 days 23 hours = 335 hours at 17 miles per hour, 5,695 miles. Is it not as possible for the South Sea vessel to make seventeen or eighteen miles per hour in an extreme case, as it is for the northern to make twenty or twenty-one miles per hour ? We leave this for you to answer.
Inasmuch as we believe that we have, not only in this article, but previous ones, given sufficient evidence to more than overbalance every reasonable objection to our position, we will only ask of him who is still skeptical, the same that has been asked of me. “Just stop and consider it, I say, for a short time and see if all these matters do not harmonize perfectly with philosophical and astronomical, and also with the experience of men who navigate the seas, especially those south of the Equator.” ”
- Diverging lines of longitude in the South are also discussed in the chapter "Degrees of Longitude" in Earth Not a Globe