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Navigation Without A Compass  
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1967 times:

Celestial navigation was the primary method used by ancient sailors prior to the invention of the compass, but observing the sun and stars when the skies were overcast or in dense fog is practically impossible. So did the sailors have other reliable and accurate ways to determine their heading as a backup.

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2389 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1953 times:

Wave patterns and wind direction come to mind. Some Polynesian tribes did that, and survived their adventures at sea.

Somebody has even built a sundial that works in fog, by using polarization filters AFAIK.

Dead reckoning using a rope with knots in it.

If the sun is visible: Use a very exact clock to time sunset/sundawn. A Jacob's staff, or a sextant.

You can use a sea anchor to align the ship with the water current. This could give you some useful information.

Build a wind channel aboard your ship. And use a homing pigeon. Err, that's a magnetic compass...

LORAN-C. GPS. Er, wait...


David

[Edited 2013-02-06 13:00:56]

[Edited 2013-02-06 13:01:19]


Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineSmittyone From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1945 times:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compass#Navigation_prior_to_the_compass

Those guys had some serious cojones to leave sight of land without a compass!


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6601 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1872 times:

It's true, but actually most navigation didn't include straying too far from the coasts. No need to cross oceans when you think there is nothing on the other side !


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1763 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 3):
It's true, but actually most navigation didn't include straying too far from the coasts. No need to cross oceans when you think there is nothing on the other side !

   But the Polynesians sailed all over the Pacific and the Vikings reached America according to some theories without the use of a compass.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13990 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1752 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 4):
But the Polynesians sailed all over the Pacific and the Vikings reached America according to some theories without the use of a compass.

Not just theories. The remains of Viking settlements have been discovered on Labrador and Newfoundland, but apparently
the Vikings got on a wrong foot with the locals and had to fight for the whole time, so eventually they pulled back to their setllements in Greenland.

jan


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1730 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
Not just theories. The remains of Viking settlements have been discovered on Labrador and Newfoundland

Absolutely. On the other hand, they crossed the North Atlantic 'in stages'; first establishing settlements in Britain, then moving on to Iceland, then Greenland, and finally Labrador. An inevitable weakness of the 'Mercator Projection' map we're all used to using is that it tends to exaggerate distances in the far north and south. In actual fact those four 'locations' are all about 1,000kms. apart. Assuming that the Vikings could 'average' say 10km. per hour, with either sails or oars, that means that each individual 'leg' would have been about a four-day voyage.

As to direction, it's safe to say that (depending on the time of year) they would probably have known the direction of the sun most of the time during the day - and, of course, at night there'd usually be the good old North Star. So they'd have been able to hold generally 'westbound' or 'eastbound' courses with relative ease most of the time - and the skippers would have known from experience the general 'set' of the prevailing winds at different times of year, which would also have helped them maintain the right general direction.

Not saying that they didn't achieve some amazing things - but even before the compass was invented, there were other ways to navigate. In the Vikings' case, having oars must have helped as well - at least, unlike people depending on sails alone, they'd have been able to make some progress against headwinds.

About navigation using the sun, when googling I found mention of some sort of 'sunstone' that enabled them to 'see' the sun even on cloudy days. But I can't find any convincing details yet so I won't post anything. But I can say, from personal experience, that you can often detect the rough position of the sun even in overcast conditions; and, of course, a sandglass would have given them the approximate time, and they have been well used to watching the sun 'pass from east to west via south' during the day.

So I'm not saying that the Vikings weren't marvellous (and very courageous) navigators. Just that there were some available ways to navigate, even before the invention of the compass.

[Edited 2013-02-09 19:15:12]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2389 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 1699 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 6):
About navigation using the sun, when googling I found mention of some sort of 'sunstone' that enabled them to 'see' the sun even on cloudy days. But I can't find any convincing details yet so I won't post anything.

Polarization filters, or something that is birefringent. There are minerals that split incoming light into two beams, each of them having a different polarization. That's how the "sunstone" worked: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunstone_%28medieval%29


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

Some further information in the last few paragraphs of this site. They indicate that the Vikings appear to have been 'world leaders' in navigation in their time. And that, as I expected, they made frequent use of the North Star. Clearly, their main concern would have been keeping to the right latitude - otherwise they'd have been highly likely to just plain 'miss' places like Iceland or the southern tip of Greenland. But they were able to use the North Star (and, if need be, the sun) to stay on the right latitude. Longitude didn't matter to them nearly as much:-

"While voyaging on the seas, how did the Vikings know where they were going? They didn't necessarily take the shortest routes between Norway and Greenland to avoid pack ice. Vikings did not have compasses to show direction, or instruments to tell them how far west they were sailing. They tended to stay close to land, making their way around coasts from island to island. When the men began to take the risk on the open sea, they had to know how far north or south they were from home by noting the position of the North Star, or using a notched stick or mast of the ship to look past the star and note how far up the upright on the stick the star appeared.

"Later at sea, the experienced pilot could see that he was at the same latitude if the star was seen against the same mark. A higher notch meant the ship was at a higher latitude, nearer the North Pole. This method was fairly accurate on land, but how accurate was it on the rolling sea? Vikings may have used a bearing dial to determine the position of the sun and moon. Because the Pole Star was not always visible, the sun would have definitely been used during the constant daylight of the midsummer that takes place in the high latitudes of the earth. The Vikings were known to produce latitude tables for certain stars including the sun."


http://www.marinersmuseum.org/education/viking-ships



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1652 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
Not just theories. The remains of Viking settlements have been discovered on Labrador and Newfoundland, but apparently
the Vikings got on a wrong foot with the locals and had to fight for the whole time, so eventually they pulled back to their setllements in Greenland.

The Polynesians first reached Hawaii around the third century. Quite an accomplishment considering the distances involved.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1596 times:

Looked up Polynesian navigation a bit. It was apparently based on techniques similar to those used by the Vikings, but the Polynesians had the additional problem that they were working on both sides of the Equator, so that the North Star would be either out of view or very low on the horizon. So they apparently used a wide variety of stars and constellations, also tracked known currents, and even observed migratory birds (who of course instinctively tended to fly towards the nearest land). I seem to recall that Columbus made his first landfall in the Americas by following birds to what became San Salvador?

This gives a bit more information. Intriguingly, it also suggests that the Polynesians may have reached, and to an extent colonised, the Americas. The direct opposite of poor Thor Heyerdahl's contention, which gave rise to the Kontiki Expedition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=joP-v7NxQZU&NR=1



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2389 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1570 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):
This gives a bit more information. Intriguingly, it also suggests that the Polynesians may have reached, and to an extent colonised, the Americas. The direct opposite of poor Thor Heyerdahl's contention, which gave rise to the Kontiki Expedition.

It is really intriguing, the origin of the South American Indians. There is fairly recent research about how the Americas was settled by paleo-Sibirians, but right now I can't find any genetic study on the Oceanian ancestry of some Indio tribes. I suspect that they have died out, thus leaving no genetic traces.

The main evidence for Polynesian-South American contact is the cultivation of bottle gourd and sweet potatoes that were originally native to South America. First genetic studies done on chicken bones seem to have proved a Polynesian origin of South American chicken http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1965514/ , but then there came a refutation of that, using an alternative explanation for the amount of radioactive carbon left int he bone: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18663216


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3010 posts, RR: 37
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1533 times:
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Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
Not just theories. The remains of Viking settlements have been discovered on Labrador and Newfoundland, but apparently
the Vikings got on a wrong foot with the locals and had to fight for the whole time, so eventually they pulled back to their setllements in Greenland.

It was more likely change in climate making it inhospitible (same thing eventually led to the end of the Greenland settlements) than problems with the natives. The presence in Newfoundland was fairly short lived in any case.

Finding Greenland and Newfoundland was probably as much luck as anything else... who knows how many Viking ships simply vanished into the Atlantic before one came back from Iceland/Greenland/etc... Vikings were fishermen as well, so if you follow fish long enough you will sight land somewhere.



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User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1495 times:

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 12):
It was more likely change in climate making it inhospitible (same thing eventually led to the end of the Greenland settlements) than problems with the natives.

There's been quite a lot of study aimed at establishing the motives of the Viking raiders. The most popular theory is that, as in most of Europe at that time, it was customary for the eldest son to inherit the farm. Which left the younger sons facing a sharply-limited future; that of working for 'big brother' as a labourer.   If, instead, they went on raids, they stood a chance of gaining wealth (by trashing towns and taking gold from the local rich); or alternatively capturing land to set up farms of their own. Basically 'kill the men and marry the women,' I guess........ This approach worked fairly well in places like Britain; but less well in places like Iceland, where the climate was harsh, most of the land was barren, and there were virtually no 'rich guys' to rob; and not many women either.  

So I suspect that they treated places like Iceland and Greenland as 'staging posts' - and went on from there, always hoping that the next place they found would 'pay off' in terms of wealth, fertile soil, temperate weather, and 'available' women.......  

Possibly the same sort of motivation applied in the case of the Polynesians - if your own island was getting crowded, and you couldn't 'make it' financially or socially, move on the next one and acquire land of your own.......?

Columbus' motivation was money from the start, of course. Not so much for himself, mainly for the king. He was hoping to find a shorter route to China. My own view is that his idea made a lot more sense than most people realise; given that there was no Suez Canal in those days, and trading ships heading for China had to go right round Africa before they could even turn east.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2345 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1477 times:
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Quoting NAV20 (Reply 13):
Columbus' motivation was money from the start, of course. Not so much for himself, mainly for the king. He was hoping to find a shorter route to China. My own view is that his idea made a lot more sense than most people realise; given that there was no Suez Canal in those days, and trading ships heading for China had to go right round Africa before they could even turn east.

Well, sure, the idea made perfect sense. Columbus' problem was that he was a bad geographer. He overestimated the size of the Eurasian landmass, underestimated the size of the earth, and thought the inhabited islands east of Asia were much further east than they are. Approximately correct* values for all of the above were widely known and generally accepted, and not really controversial. The reason no one else tried a westward voyage to eastern Asia, is that everyone else understood that the distance was some 10,000 miles longer than Columbus' estimate of less than 2500 miles! Given the technology of the day, a 2500 mile sea voyage was reasonable, but a 12,000 mile one was not. Nor would that actually have been shorter than plugging your way around Africa.


*The generally accepted size of Eurasia was actually rather high, by about 20% (Ptolemy's estimate of it spanning about 180 degrees of the globe was commonly accepted, rather than the actual 150 degrees), but Columbus came up with something on the order of 220 degrees. Likewise his estimate for the size of the earth was too small by some 25% (he literally didn't convert between different types of miles correctly).


User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1369 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
Not just theories. The remains of Viking settlements have been discovered on Labrador and Newfoundland
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 6):
Absolutely. On the other hand, they crossed the North Atlantic 'in stages'; first establishing settlements in Britain, then moving on to Iceland, then Greenland, and finally Labrador. An inevitable weakness of the 'Mercator Projection' map we're all used to using is that it tends to exaggerate distances in the far north and south. In actual fact those four 'locations' are all about 1,000kms. apart. Assuming that the Vikings could 'average' say 10km. per hour, with either sails or oars, that means that each individual 'leg' would have been about a four-day voyage.

Just came across "L'Anse aux Meadows" in Newfoundland...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Anse_aux_Meadows

It proves that the Vikings were probably the first Europeans to arrive in America, centuries before Columbus. As NAV20 pointed out, it's only ~685 miles (1100 km) from Greenland.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 8):
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):

Interesting article & video, thanks for sharing.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 11):
The main evidence for Polynesian-South American contact is the cultivation of bottle gourd and sweet potatoes that were originally native to South America. First genetic studies done on chicken bones seem to have proved a Polynesian origin of South American chicken http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1965514/ , but then there came a refutation of that, using an alternative explanation for the amount of radioactive carbon left int he bone: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...63216

The Polynesians crisscrossed the Pacific for centuries, it's very plausible that they reached the Americas.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 12):
It was more likely change in climate making it inhospitible (same thing eventually led to the end of the Greenland settlements) than problems with the natives. The presence in Newfoundland was fairly short lived in any case.

But they did thrive in Iceland, is Newfoundland's climate much harsher than Iceland's?


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1338 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 15):
But they did thrive in Iceland, is Newfoundland's climate much harsher than Iceland's?

I don't think it was purely (or even mainly) a matter of climate. The Vikings had done pretty well capturing and looting cities in various (relatively wealthy) parts of Europe, had eventually been largely accepted as 'a fact of life' by the local populations; and, over time, came to live in peace with them.

But there was no such 'percentage' in their favour in places like Canada. The natives had no 'wealth' in the sense that Europe used the word, they must vastly have out-numbered the Vikings, and probably envied the Vikings their tools, seeds, buildings etc. My guess is that (as happened a few centuries later, when Europeans began settling in America on a much larger scale) there were probably constant 'Indian' raids, and not a little bloodshed. And, above all, there was no 'wealth' there to be 'commandeered.'

Seems to me that this article probably says all we need to know about why the Vikings packed it in in North America:-

"The Vinland sagas are rather definite that all expeditions returned to Greenland, the total years of their presence amounting to less than a decade. The L’Anse aux Meadows site was abandoned after a similar period. This can be seen from the sparseness of the cultural deposits in the buildings, the small garbage heaps, and the lack of cemeteries. Its occupants left willingly. They took all their tools, weapons, and belongings with them. The only things left were broken and discarded items.

"The only time we hear about anyone setting out for Vinland again is the short line about Bishop Erik going to Vinland in 1121 in the Icelandic Annals. If there really had been a Vinland colony at that time, most likely there would be more about this in the records collected for the Saga of the Greenlanders and Erik the Red’s Saga a century later, considering the detail they tell of the earlier voyages.

"To solve the mystery of why the Vikings left you have to put yourself in their place. What does it take to start a new colony? Would a successful colony have to work with the local aboriginal people? How long would it take to get established, to increase the few heads of cattle, sheep, and goats you could bring, so that your herd became large enough to support a new colony? Would the colonists need supplies from Europe and if so, what were the obstacles to establishing a regular trade with Europe? These are things to ponder when you consider why they left."


http://www.canadianmysteries.ca/site...eries/whydidtheyleave/indexen.html

Find myself 'referring back' to a comment about Columbus earlier in the thread:-

Quoting rwessel (Reply 14):
Columbus' problem was that he was a bad geographer. He overestimated the size of the Eurasian landmass, underestimated the size of the earth, and thought the inhabited islands east of Asia were much further east than they are.

Basically agreed, rwessel; as far as it goes. But Columbus did (more by accident than design) effectively 'discover' two huge, previously-unknown continents. Most parts of which had fertile soil and temperate climates. Which meant that the poor and/or oppressed people in Europe (including all those impoverished 'younger sons' I mentioned earlier) had the option of migration to the 'New World.'

Whichever way you look at it, the results of that discovery have been just plain 'incalculable' - I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that it ended up being just about the most important discovery in world history. It literally 'changed the world' - and, I guess most of us would say, largely changed it for the better.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2345 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1334 times:
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Quoting NAV20 (Reply 16):
Basically agreed, rwessel; as far as it goes. But Columbus did (more by accident than design) effectively 'discover' two huge, previously-unknown continents. Most parts of which had fertile soil and temperate climates. Which meant that the poor and/or oppressed people in Europe (including all those impoverished 'younger sons' I mentioned earlier) had the option of migration to the 'New World.'

Whichever way you look at it, the results of that discovery have been just plain 'incalculable' - I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that it ended up being just about the most important discovery in world history. It literally 'changed the world' - and, I guess most of us would say, largely changed it for the better.

I'm not sure how to rank it, but it certainly was a pretty big deal.

But I don't think Columbus did anything other than advance the discovery some amount of time (ignoring that the Vikings had been there much earlier). Seagoing technology was improving, and voyages westward, even if just exploratory, would have been undertaken sooner or later, but with much less risk.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1327 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 17):
I'm not sure how to rank it, but it certainly was a pretty big deal.

Just meant in fun, rwessel mate, and aimed at keeping a good discussion flowing; but please - you or any other contributor - nominate any discoveries in history that you reckon even might rate higher?  



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2345 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1290 times:
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Quoting NAV20 (Reply 18):
Just meant in fun, rwessel mate, and aimed at keeping a good discussion flowing; but please - you or any other contributor - nominate any discoveries in history that you reckon even might rate higher?

Just a few random possibilities ("big" impacts, good or ill):
- Invention of agriculture
- Invention of writing
- Printing press
- Germ theory of disease
- Quantum mechanics (or if you prefer, modern physics starting in approximately Niels Bohr's era)
- Gun powder
- The bow and arrow
- The Enlightenment
- Scientific method
- Rise...
- and fall of the Roman Empire
- Rise of the Abrahamic religions
- Domestication of animals
- The steam engine
- Fermentation
- Magna Carta

And a few which might:
- Computers
- Internet
- Rockets (Gentlemen, we have achieved topicality!)
- Decoding of the Human genome


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1264 times:

Guess I'm guilty of 'asking a silly question,' rwessel.  

But most of the things you list were 'inventions,' not 'discoveries'?

In Columbus's time what we nowadays call 'navigation' had barely been invented. He more or less achieved a miracle by managing to sail such a distance on basically a south-west course. And he had the wit to realise that the 'trade winds' were from the west above about 20 degrees north, and from the east south of there. That's proved by the fact that he 'stayed south' on the way out, and angled north on the way home. And did the same on his next three voyages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyages_of_Christopher_Columbus

I did some research and found that the sextant wasn't invented until about 1750. Columbus, in and after 1492, must have relied on nothing more than the angle of the sun at noon to determine his latitude. Just like the Vikings, centuries ago. So he was a pretty inventive 'navigator,' to say the least.........  

I guess the basic question is - could anyone else have done it? And how different would the world be, if the American continents hadn't been discovered in 1492, but had instead remained 'hidden' until the advent of the sextant 150 years later?

[Edited 2013-02-18 05:52:16]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2345 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1216 times:
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Quoting NAV20 (Reply 20):
In Columbus's time what we nowadays call 'navigation' had barely been invented. He more or less achieved a miracle by managing to sail such a distance on basically a south-west course. And he had the wit to realise that the 'trade winds' were from the west above about 20 degrees north, and from the east south of there. That's proved by the fact that he 'stayed south' on the way out, and angled north on the way home. And did the same on his next three voyages.

His navigation skills were not exceptional, any number of competent sailors of the time could have approximately followed that course using the instruments and techniques available.

Columbus is often credited with the discovery of an important trade wind pattern in the Atlantic, without which his voyage would likely have been impossible. Some have held that they were known to others, but it wasn't widely known, since it was of little use (since nobody sailed that way). I really don't know, but he certainly put that knowledge, however obtained, to good use.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 20):
I guess the basic question is - could anyone else have done it? And how different would the world be, if the American continents hadn't been discovered in 1492, but had instead remained 'hidden' until the advent of the sextant 150 years later?

The sextant was not crucial, although it would certainly have helped. Mind you that by 1750 all of the 13 British colonies had been long established - *lots* of people crossed the Atlantic before the sextant was invented, all using astrolabes. More a matter of when someone would have been convinced to sail 2500 miles east, to no destination at all, just to have a look around. Surely someone would have done it eventually. Also the first ~50 years were pretty slow in the exploitation of the Americas, although the Spanish and Portuguese were starting to get going by then.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1211 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 1):
Some Polynesian tribes did that, and survived their adventures at sea.

The Hokulea canoe first sailed from the Marquesas to the Hawaiian islands. They must have had a fairly good idea of sailing to do this without any equipment but the stars to navigate the big wide ocean with nothing but the stars for orientation.

This is explained here:

http://www.fostertravel.com/hawaiis-...-tells-story-of-polynesian-voyage/

A replica of the Hokulea was built to sail the original voyage.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/b...worldwide_voyage.html?id=141964173

I would encourage those interested and visiting Hawaii to go to the Bishop Museum to find out more about the Hokulea.
http://www.bishopmuseum.org/research/cultstud/cultstud.html

  



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1117 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 16):
But there was no such 'percentage' in their favour in places like Canada. The natives had no 'wealth' in the sense that Europe used the word, they must vastly have out-numbered the Vikings, and probably envied the Vikings their tools, seeds, buildings etc. My guess is that (as happened a few centuries later, when Europeans began settling in America on a much larger scale) there were probably constant 'Indian' raids, and not a little bloodshed. And, above all, there was no 'wealth' there to be 'commandeered.'

Same with Iceland, it didn't have much wealth, yet they stayed there. I think the Natives fought pretty hard to drive the Vikings out of Canada.




Quoting rwessel (Reply 17):
But I don't think Columbus did anything other than advance the discovery some amount of time (ignoring that the Vikings had been there much earlier).

Some sources claim that Chinese sailors reached America before Columbus but probably after the Vikings, I wonder if there's any physical evidence in Alaska or Canada to prove this claim.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2345 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1098 times:
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Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 23):
Some sources claim that Chinese sailors reached America before Columbus but probably after the Vikings, I wonder if there's any physical evidence in Alaska or Canada to prove this claim.

Other than the Vikings and Columbus (and of course the folks who crossed the land-bridge from Asia millennia ago), the evidence for all the other speculated contacts is pretty darn thin. Probably the best (but still *very* thin) evidence is for some Polynesian contact on the west coast of the Americas.

But here's a nice list, and a bunch of references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Columbian_trans-oceanic_contact


25 Post contains links NAV20 : Just as a matter of interest, I find that Columbus didn't actually 'discover' America proper until 1498. And that he never actually got to North Ameri
26 flyingturtle : The Chinese traded with Eastern Africa (Somalia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Ethiopia) in the year 1400 and way before that date. There is ample evidence for
27 Post contains images L0VE2FLY : By coincidence, just a couple of hours after posting my last reply, I watched a show on the Military History channel about the Chinese' naval history
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