Memorandum on Captain Scott's letter to the Royal Society re meteorological observations in the Antarctic, by M.R.H. Curtis

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                                "Rough" books, are any data given for locating the
sledge parties on their journeys. The Winter Quarters
and C. Armitage are both fully open to the South-West,
so that it is impossible to understand how a wind
blowing from that quarter should be deflected through
130° in order to blow upon the ship from its hilly and
most sheltered side, whilst at a point which could at
most have been but a few miles distant it continued to
blow steadily from what Captain Scott considers to be
its normal direction, - S.W.

It was not until some time after the
difficulty had presented itself that any information
was obtained respecting the magnetic variation in that
region; but when it was seen that the persistently
uniform difference in the reported wind directions at
Winter Quarters and by the sledge party was at once
removed if it could be assumed that the latter had been
obtained by compass, and considering also that 
Mr. Royds was evidently not sure that they had not been
so obtained, I no longer hesitated to accept that
assumption as the explanation of the discrepancy.

There is however one point upon which I
desire to insist, namely that the desire to meet the
exigencies of any previously formed theory had no weight
at all in the matter. Put very briefly the difficulty
was only that of having a persistent difference in the
direction of the wind observed at two neighbouring
places, for which no other satisfactory explanation
could be found than that in the one instance the bearings
were "true" and in the other magnetic; and since there
did

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Manuscript details

Author
R. H. Curtis
Reference
MS/591/4/14
Series
MS
Date
12-Nov-08
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Memorandum on Captain Scott's letter to the Royal Society re meteorological observations in the Antarctic, by M.R.H. Curtis, 12-Nov-08. From The Royal Society, MS/591/4/14

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