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Storm Petrel and the Admiral of the Western Seas

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  • graeme19121984
    It s satisfying to find if at some time PCB makes public an answer to some problem or other he d earlier posited, pondered, and then kinda left unresolved.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2008
      It's satisfying to find if at some time PCB makes public an answer to
      some problem or other he'd earlier posited, pondered, and then kinda
      left unresolved. It's sometimes a kind of puzzle of puzzles, and,
      wow, hasn't PCB posed some questions or raised much conjecture over
      time! Sometimes the answer is there, the tests are done, and it's up
      to how his text is read. Sometimes the answer, or corroboration of
      the gems of Bolger thinking that he sometimes does out loud, comes
      from elsewhere. In the end a solution is nice to have, but, hey,
      someone, PCB, had to first ask the question.

      In writing up STORM PETREL, PCB posited that letting go one anchor,
      OR MORE, with all the warp available, in no bottom water, ought to be
      at least as effective as most sea anchors. He wrote that he didn't
      understand why sea anchors were designed to float. He thought they
      might be better below the surface drift, in deeper water, and the
      warps would have more resistance and better steady the bow the more
      they trended to the verticle.

      I asked here quite some time ago if it was known whether PCB had
      resolved the conjecture presented in this apparent thought
      experiment, or if there was other information one way or another.

      Well, I was watching an already interesting German/Mandarin tv doco
      the other week on the great 15th century Chineese fleets, the Dragons
      of the Sea, and sat bolt upright when a segment on how the fleets
      managed to keep the seas once no sail would stand in the midst of an
      oceanic cyclone showed their technique to be the dropping of TWO
      heavy bow anchors as deep as possible .

      Bolger does it again!

      A bit more on the fleets, if you care for it -- As of the year 1400,
      China had by far the best, the biggest, and the largest number of,
      ocean-going ships in the world under the command of the the imperial
      court eunuch Admiral Zheng He. Between 1405 and 1432 the Chinese
      Emperor Yongle sent 7 ocean-going fleets, the so-called treasure
      fleets, out from China. Zheng He's initial objective was to enroll
      far flung states into the Ming tributary system. The fleets comprised
      hundreds of ships; they had total crews of 20,000 men; each of those
      ships dwarfed the tiny ships of Columbus, from 4 to 30 times bigger
      (Treasure Ships up to 400 - 600ft LOA, 170ft BOA - a football
      field!); and those gigantic fleets sailed from China to Indonesia, to
      Sri Lanka, to India, to Arabia, the Gulf, to the east coast of
      Africa, and down the east coast of Africa. It looked as if the
      Chinese were on the verge of rounding the Cape of Good Hope, coming
      up the west side of Africa, and colonizing Europe. There were many
      specialist ships: for example, the scourge of scurvy was solved by
      special farm ships that grew soybean sprouts ( shades of Bolger's
      MARGARET MEAD conceptual study around the time of of the test model
      NANCY JACK #378 ), animal transports for beef and the cavalry
      horses, and large fresh water carriers. They used star charts,
      compass, and peculiar though surprisingly accurate
      navigation "charts" that required the fleet to travel at a set pace
      so that when they made a turn after a certain time they ended where
      they intended.

      These ships, fleets, sailors, and their Admiral's deeds were indeed
      awesome. There were many fantastic acheivements. Zheng He [aka Cheng
      Ho], a contemporary of Columbus, rates way up there with him, Cook,
      Yi Sun-sin, et al.

      http://www.chinapage.com/zhenghe.html to see a comparitve drawing
      of Zheng He's treasure ship and Columbus' St Maria.


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