Sea Change (Armstrong Novel) - Realistic Geography, History, and Science

Realistic Geography, History, and Science

The Langdale travels from Liverpool past the Azores, to the Barbados capital Bridgetown, Trinidad, the Venezuela coast, Curaçao and Cuba. The places are described from shipboard – the only place Cam goes ashore is the fictional Venezuelan port of Boca del Sol.

The outward cargo is assorted manufactured goods. For the return voyage they load up with sugar at Cárdenas.

They experience gales in the Atlantic Ocean, a tropical storm in the Caribbean, and enough baking heat to cause a fire in the hold. On the way home the salvaged vessel Arno makes landfall at Bishop Rock, Isles of Scilly before docking at Falmouth, Cornwall.

Reference is made to the pirates and buccaneers of the Spanish Main, notably the English Sir Francis Drake.

The novel predates satellite navigation by several decades; the Langdale uses celestial navigation and a successful voyage depends on accurate sextant readings and mathematical calculation unaided by calculators. The method is explained at some length.

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