Who charted the Americas, Africa and Australia?
Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sun 24 Aug 2014 02:28
So we have entered the Nanuku passage, following winds up to the pass 20-30 knots.
Since midnight we have seen another sailing vessel, very unusual, we have caught up with them and will overtake
them in an hour or so.
Coming in to the pass the waves started to rise as the water got shallower. Salsa surfed beautyfully.
As we had to turn the side to the waves to keep our course through the pass, the ocean gave us a last
wet kiss to thank us for crossing it. The kiss was about half a ton of water thrown right up in the air when the wave crashed into the side.
The water landed of course on the cockpit, and the poor bimini and sprayhood had to take the load.
ETA Savu Savu is most probably tomorrow morning or very early morning (2-3 am)
This crossing has been efficient but uncomfortable, at least the last part of it.
But in between we read. Im reading a great book called 1424. A book to be recommended to those who love sailing and history (Thank you Karl on Windarra to recommend it).
According to the author, and he has more than enought proof if you read the book, Magellan, Columbus and the likes had already maps of the areas they were going to visit. Those maps can be checked in Venice and in London. Those maps show with astonishing accuracy the places they had not been to, yet.
1424 an enormous chinese fleet was sent out by the emperor of China to chart the world. And they did, at a cost that the mandarins thought was outrageous. So when the rest of the fleet came home again all material was burned and China closed the doors to the world.
But the chinese had left proof under way and their charts had been copied by european chart makers as they met in ports that where known by both parties.
Well the reason I write this is not to get into a debate about who explored the world first or second but what kind of thoughts that come up when you read a book like that.
Being on a sailboat, seing all stars at night, knowing that people were smart enought to use them as aid for navigation, it makes me think about all the aids we have on board and how amazing it is, the mix of old and new.
On our sailboat we sail, a technique that is thousand of year old.
We have a combustion engine a 100 year old technique.
We use the knowledge of tradewinds, established 500 years ago.
We use GPS, from satellites that were fired into space to orbit the earth about 30 years ago.
We prepare food on fire (propane) the way our anscestors did 6000 years ago (not propane)?
We use internet that is 20 years?
We have a short wave radio that was invented about 1930?
And so on....
It is called memes, the knowledge and traditions we pass on to our kids, memes is a theory that sprung from gene theory, Richard Dawkins was the first to use the term and I would say Susan Blackmore took it from there and made it a science (I think she is in Oxford).
Memes like Genes survive us, as we pass them on.
What are we going to pass on today?