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Brian Nystrom

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This is too funny!!!


Reprint from Sheet&YardArm.Com chat board, July 1487:

Topic: Magnetic needles

Posted by: The Galloping Genoan

Jul-10-87 2:57 P.M. (GMT)

Hi guys! Thinking 'bout sailing west for 6 weeks to reach china,

wonder if I should buy one of those magnetic needle things. What do

you guys think about 'em?



Posted by: Old Salt

Jul-10-87 4:13 P.M. (GMT)

You damn fool! Sail west, huh? You'll fall off the friggin' earth that

way, idgit!


Posted by: Southron

Jul-10-87 5:31 P.M. (GMT)

Hey, Cristobal, what's up. Prince Henry was asking about you the other

day. Yeah, those needles can come in handy, as long as you don't sail

too near any iron motherlodes, and as long as you don't lose all your

heavy parchment patches, and as long as some clumsy tar doesn't trip

over the box and smash it all to smithereens. Better not neglect your

star charting, odds are you'll need before it's all over.



Posted by: Whale Belly

Jul-10-87 6:37 P.M. (GMT)

Cristobal, your obviosly a reel smart guy who can apprecate this so

let me share a secret with you. Dont tell nobody becuz I dont have

enough of these for everbody. When you get out there on ye waves whats

ye biggest thing you got to fear? Falling over, right? Capsizing, they

call it. Well I've got ye invention that will make that worry a thing

of ye past – its two specilly treated whale bellys that you

attach to ye sides of your ship and fill full of air. That way you

cant tump over! Ye inflated bellys keep you uprite in any see! I call

them "sponsons" and if you'll just stop by Plymouth on ye way out I'll

get you all fixed up for a very resonabil price.

Sir John

Posted by: Coaster

Jul-10-87 9:14 P.M. (GMT)

Hey, Gallop, how long you been sailing anyway? I'm guessing you're a

rank beginner by the way you talk. You sound like a moron. It's pretty

clear you know nothing of the sea. WTF do you want to go out in the

middle of the ocean for anyway? It's guys like you that give this

sport a bad name. I bet you don't even wear a PFD! I ought to let you

go on and get killed but my conscious won't let me. So let me give you

a piece of advice – don't go out of sight of land! You can have

plenty of fun right along the coast there without endangering

everybody and making people afraid of the sea by going out there and

getting killed.


Posted by: The Galloping Genoan

Jul-11-87 5:48 A.M. (GMT)

Thanks for the advice, Bart – sounds like I'd better get some

spares. And what's the deal with passing iron mountains? What happens

there, and how close do you have to be?

What did Prince Henry say? He wasn't very nice last time I saw him.

And to you other jerks – I'm asking about needles, could you

please stay on topic?



Posted by: Old Salt

Jul-11-87 6:24 A.M. (GMT)

Friggin' dago, you still here? GO AWAY NEWBIE! Portugal rules the



Posted by: Whale Belly

Jul-11-87 6:36 A.M. (GMT)

If all I cared about was mysef I wudnt say anoter word after that

insult but I'm just trying to save a few lives here. Your not ye only

one reading this tread ya no. So when your drowning there besides your

capsized ship and thinking, "I wish I had sponsons now" maybe somebody

else will lern from your errors.

Sir John

Posted by: Weevilly Biscuits

Jul-11-87 7:45 A.M. (GMT)

Ye needle can be an invaluable aide, but don't let it take ye place of

common sense. Ye sun riseth in ye west, sailing west is easy. But it

does get dark and ye sky gets covered with cloud, so I always carry a

needle too.

On ye question about ye iron, I don't know a lot but I can share my

experience. In ye north sea there's an iron island. When I pass within

3 leagues of it ye needle points to ye island, turning toward it and

following it as I pass so you would think I was sailing in a circle.

At 6 leagues ye needle moves in ye island's general direction but only

a quarter or so. At 12 leagues ye effect is very small. So, in my

experience, you have to be pretty close for it to matter.


Posted by: Private Land Owner

Jul-11-87 8:37 A.M. (GMT)

Cristobal, let me ask you, when you're sailing off in the lonely seas

and you come up on a beautiful island, are you planning to land and

traipse about the place? Stealing water and wood and tracking your

muddy boots everywhere? Is that what you have in mind? Because if it

is, I just want to point out that you'll be TRESPASSING and you'll

deserve to be hung from the highest ... (CONTINUED 926

more lines)

Posted by: Southron

Jul-11-87 10:15 A.M. (GMT)

Prince Henry just asked where you were, said he hadn't seen you in a

while. What's up? You two have a spat?

On the motherlodes, Biscuits is right, you have to be pretty close.

How close depends on the size of the lode. You remember the Saint

Teresa Mountain on the coast of Africa? That one must have a lot of

iron, that one bends my needle from 30 leagues off. The main thing is

don't rely on the needle alone – check the stars and sun and

moon and make sure they agree.



Posted by: Pequatcha

Jul-11-87 10:24 A.M. (GMT)

Any iron nearby will bend the needle. I heard from my father that the

way Eannes discovered Madeira was that a sailor set a bucket of nails

beside the box where Eannes set up his float and needle. He thought he

was sailing to Morocco.

Posted by: Coaster

Jul-11-87 10:34 A.M. (GMT)

Moron, this is on topic – are we not talking about the sea?

Safety first – think how your irresponsible actions can affect



Posted by: Neptune

Jul-11-87 10:36 A.M. (GMT)

Cristobal, what kind of ship are you sailing? I hope it's not a



Posted by: Whale Belly

Jul-11-87 11:31 A.M. (GMT)

It's not too lait to save your life, Cristobal. Remember: sponsons =


Sir John

Posted by: The Galloping Genoan

Jul-11-87 2:57 P.M. (GMT)

Thanks for the help, guys. Bought two needles today, with four float

boxes and four big parcels of parchment. Ready to set out as soon as I

can find some backing. Bart, Prince Henry turned me down flat on this

westward crossing. Do you know anybody up in Spain I could talk to?



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