US Exploratory Expedition, known by insiders as the “Ex Ex.” During Ex Ex’s circumnavigation of the globe, from 1838 to 1842, the small fleet had sailed around Cape Horn to explore the mouth of the Columbia River, as well as the sparsely populated bay that would one day be home to San Francisco. The ships then sailed south to Antarctica and island-hopped across the Pacific to Manila and Singapore. Yet the expedition was plagued by mutiny against the expedition’s volatile leader, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, who used brutal methods methods such as “flogging around the fleet” to keep his men under control. It seemed, too, that wherever they landed, the Americans fought with the natives. By the time Wilkes arrived back in America, two of his six ships had been lost. Wilkes survived a court-martial, but his reputation was ruined. Yet Ex Ex would leave behind 87,000 miles’ worth of logs, as well as 180 charts of distant coastlines and islands.22 No one seemed willing to comb through them except Maury, who had all the time in the world at his new desk job. And Maury was not content simply to organize the logs. Rather, he and a small group of assistants scanned thousands of dusty pages looking for patterns of the ocean’s winds and currents. He published his findings in 1847: careful compilations of observations in the form of charts, providing recommendations to captains on the routes to follow to find ideal winds, avoid headwinds, and locate passages through the doldrums. Ujifusa, Steven. Barons of the Sea: And their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship (pp. 151-152). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition. Ujifusa, Steven. Barons of the Sea: And their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship (p. 151). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

— EX EX circumnavigation of the globe  

  • Save this Post to Scrapbook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *