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Tracks in the sea : Matthew Fontaine Maury and the mapping of the oceans

Author: Chester G Hearn
Publisher: Camden, Me. : International Marine/McGraw-Hill, ©2002.
Edition/Format:   Book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Tracks in the Sea captures a rich yet little-known chapter in the history of seafaring - the mapping of the oceans by Matthew Fontaine Maury, the father of modern navigation and ocean science." "Voyages in the early 1800s were risky endeavors. Navigation was uncertain. Chronometers were a new technology, and only a few navy ships and wealthy merchant vessels carried them. And route planning was a hit-or-miss
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Biographies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Hearn, Chester G.
Tracks in the sea.
Camden, Me. : International Marine/McGraw-Hill, c2002
(OCoLC)648543196
Named Person: Matthew Fontaine Maury; M F Maury; Matthew Fontaine Maury; Matthew Fontaine Maury, Geograph.; Matthew Fontaine Maury
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Chester G Hearn
ISBN: 0071368264 9780071368261
OCLC Number: 49727737
Description: ix, 278 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Contents: Trackless seas --
Lure of the sea --
Education of a sailor --
Thirst for knowledge unheeded --
Setting the navy straight --
Tracking the winds and currents --
Sailors and whalers --
California clippers --
Disasters and discoveries --
Organizing the nations --
"Indefatigable investigator" --
Maury's charts go to war --
Loaves and fishes.
Responsibility: Chester G. Hearn.
More information:

Abstract:

"Tracks in the Sea captures a rich yet little-known chapter in the history of seafaring - the mapping of the oceans by Matthew Fontaine Maury, the father of modern navigation and ocean science." "Voyages in the early 1800s were risky endeavors. Navigation was uncertain. Chronometers were a new technology, and only a few navy ships and wealthy merchant vessels carried them. And route planning was a hit-or-miss affair. Knowledge of prevailing winds and currents had advanced little since Columbus. What lore existed was mostly anecdotal. There were no "highways" on the seas, and hundreds of ships were lost each year. The cost in property and lives was enormous.".

"Maury changed all that. In a brilliant eighteen-year effort between 1842 and 1861 - driving himself and his staff with relentless curiosity, ambition, adventurousness, and altruism - he mapped the oceans' great surface currents and wind systems and showed shipmasters how to shave weeks or months from voyages. His career coincided with the ascendance of America as a maritime power and with the culmination of the Great Age of Sail. In a world interconnected by maritime commerce, Maury's work was critically important not just to America, but to all nations.".

"Tracks in the Sea traces the arc of Maury's remarkable life from his birth in 1806 on a hardscrabble Virginia farm, the seventh of nine children, to a navy career culminating in the superintendency of the newly created U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. Self-taught and self-made, as passionate in his condemnation of bureaucratic incompetence as he was in his scientific explorations, Maury earned great admirers who would help his career and great enemies who would strive to sabotage it. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he abandoned his life's work to offer his services to his native South.

Though despised by Southern leaders (including Jefferson Davis), Maury contributed the pilot and track charts that played a critical role in the Confederate raiders' destruction of Union shipping."--BOOK JACKET.

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