Bosun's Blog


The magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divinationas early as the Chinese Han Dynasty (since c. 206 BC), and later adopted for navigation by the Song Dynasty Chinese during the 11th century. The first usage of a compass recorded in Western Europe and the Islamic world occurred around 1190.

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The two main factors to be determined by the navigator are the plotting of a course between two known points and the ship's position at any time.

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Collecting Maritime and Nautical Antiques and Curios is and should be a fun hobby. Pieces in a collection all have a story to tell, not only about their construction and use but also on their aquisition.

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The "Log" was first described as being a piece of shaped wood with a weight attached at one end in order that it should float upright in the water. The log was attached by three short pieces of rope to the so-called "log line" and the log was cast astern of the vessel. The log line was knotted at regular intervals and the number of knots played out during a period of half a minute, again timed by a log glass, was counted. This operation provides the origin of the expression for describing the speed of a ship in "knots".

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