Originally Posted by El Pinguino
This is making less sense by the day....
Let's see if we can salvage
something from this.
First, thanks to F54 for the digital version of Bernard Moitessier's diagram and caption from the French original. F54 saved me from showing you that my 1968 copy is brown with oxidation and age.
I think there are two or three aspects that puzzle us.
1. The English publishers did damage to BM's diagram. As you can see from the digital version of French original (in #30), BM chose to draw his chartlet with S at the top, N at the bottom.
The English publishers chose to rotate the chartlet 45 degrees clockwise (see #22), so that SE is at the top and NW at the bottom. The English publishers did not change the caption of the chartlet to fit with their rotation.
2. To my knowledge, BM does not explain why he wrote that 'within the high southern latitudes, look at a chart facing the South Pole' (my translation). There are several parts
(a) F54 is correct that he is referring to BM's two hand-drawn chartlets on p. 387 and p. 388 of the French original edition. Those chartlets are sea and meteorological chartlets, in which BM is doing his best to explain, based on his experience sailing the S Pacific and suffering knockdowns in the process, how to sail when near an intense extra-tropical Low.
(b) BM is not referring to marine
charts of the usual kind, as F54 said. Mirror16 and smacsdesign have already noted that all of BM's other charts are N-up.
(c) my guess is a mix of El Pinguino's hypothesis (that BM was seeking a unique selling point) and a hunch that BM might have a point - that he did not elaborate - that for N-hemisphere cruiser, dealing with an extra-tropical Low in the high S latitudes was sort of like dealing with an extra-tropical Low in the high N latitudes, as long as they reverse some things. BM's point is that in the high S Latitudes when near an intense extra-tropical Low, the wise sailor heads ESE, gaining searoom away from the Low and avoiding taking the rogue waves that will form when a NW swell interacts with a W or WSW wind
wave on the port beam. BM was cruising 'Joshua' and had a knockdown in just those conditions (rogue waves from the confused sea that formed as an extratropical Low passed).
(d) so my guess is that BM was saying, to his audience of French and other N-hemisphere cruisers, that when sailing the high S latitudes, draw a wave & meteorological chartlet, then invert it so the chartlet is S-up and take the same sort of action you would take if you were in the same position in the N-hemisphere with a extratropical Low.
I am not 100% convinced by that. If only because extratropical Lows in both S and N hemispheres tend to track E-wards.
Originally Posted by El Pinguino
The wind is shown blowing clockwise around the low... it can only be in a southern latitude... I suspect the editor had never seen the sea...let alone sailed on it.
Yes. El Pinguino is as usual correct. BM's hand-drawn chartlet is set in the S hemisphere. I am confident that the chartlet was drawn by BM. The French original of La longue route
includes two pages from BM's journal. The lettering is close enough to convince me that the hand-lettered chartlets were his work
In the text, BM describes himself cruising E of New Zealand
, headed for Chatham Islands when he had his first knockdown in such conditions (around latitude 44S or 45S) (by 'such conditions' I mean rogue waves generated from a confused sea due to wind change from the passing of an extratropical low). He had a second knockdown in similar conditions around 34S, three weeks away from Tahiti
4. I think the English translator, identified as William Rodarmor in my Sheridan House edition, did a fair enough job (translating from Fr to En is above my pay grade). The English translation is concise, not wordy. I think the English caption to this chartlet was perhaps a little too concise.
And El Pinguino is of course correct - whoever did the editing of BM's first draft
at Arthaud (the publishing house) had very likely never sailed the S Pacific or perhaps any ocean. The editor missed an opportunity to suggest that BM explain further his opinion about how best to view wave & meteorological chartlets in the S Pac.
* etymological note: English chart
first appeared in printed form in 1696 to mean a marine chart. In that 1696 appearance, it was spelled as Chart
(in the same work). Both charte
are recorded in English in 1571 for a map (i.e. not a marine chart but a map of land). The immediate origin was in French, where the word showed up in the 11th century (so technically Old French) as charte
, a map or a card. That came from Latin charta
, a leaf of paper, a map, a card. Which in turn came from Greek χάρτης, a sheet of paper or papyrus. And the best guess is an ultimate origin in Egyptian.