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Beaufort scale

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Beaufort scale
Post by Salisria   » Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:40 pm

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Multiple times, as a means of describing sea conditions in terms readers can comprehend, RFC refers to the Beaufort Scale used on long dead Terra but not on Safehold. Problem is, the Beaufort Scale is the sort of useful, empirical, low accuracy system of measurement that IMHO would both be acceptable to Langhorne and be perfect to ascribe to one of the archangels.

Granted, we know little about the most likely candidate, Hastings, but referring to the "Hastings Scale as the Beaufort Scale of long dead Terra had been renamed by the archangels after one of themselves" could have served the same dramatic and informational purposes and given Nimue Alban another reason to despise the Church of God Awaiting.

The only in-universe reasons I can think of for why Safehold doesn't use the Hastings Scale are that despite being the chief geologist, Hastings had little interest in meteorology or oceanography and/or Hastings was a supporter of Shan-Wei. Out-of-universe, the reason is probably that renaming the Beaufort Scale didn't occur to RFC when he first mentioned it in the series as I think that would have appealed to him if he had thought of that then.

Even if that were to appeal to him now, I can't see a Hastings Scale being introduced now as it's not worth a retcon. At most, the Beaufort Scale could be introduced and named after someone appropriate in the ICN, perhaps Captain Brahnahr of the Bureau of Navigation, if RFC decides he wants to use it on Safehold in-universe in addition to using it in sea state descriptions for his readers.
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Re: Beaufort scale
Post by Louis R   » Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:30 am

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It's not very likely that any of the archangels knew about it or thought there was much if any use for it. Even now, the original arbitrary scale isn't in use - the old divisions have all been given precise definitions based on anemometer readings, and I don't believe most of them are even used except in a very general way even in the sailing community - and hasn't been for over a century and a half.

In any case, I don't have the impression that there's much reference to seafaring in the Writ, so the occasion probably never arose.

Salisria wrote:Multiple times, as a means of describing sea conditions in terms readers can comprehend, RFC refers to the Beaufort Scale used on long dead Terra but not on Safehold. Problem is, the Beaufort Scale is the sort of useful, empirical, low accuracy system of measurement that IMHO would both be acceptable to Langhorne and be perfect to ascribe to one of the archangels.

Granted, we know little about the most likely candidate, Hastings, but referring to the "Hastings Scale as the Beaufort Scale of long dead Terra had been renamed by the archangels after one of themselves" could have served the same dramatic and informational purposes and given Nimue Alban another reason to despise the Church of God Awaiting.

The only in-universe reasons I can think of for why Safehold doesn't use the Hastings Scale are that despite being the chief geologist, Hastings had little interest in meteorology or oceanography and/or Hastings was a supporter of Shan-Wei. Out-of-universe, the reason is probably that renaming the Beaufort Scale didn't occur to RFC when he first mentioned it in the series as I think that would have appealed to him if he had thought of that then.

Even if that were to appeal to him now, I can't see a Hastings Scale being introduced now as it's not worth a retcon. At most, the Beaufort Scale could be introduced and named after someone appropriate in the ICN, perhaps Captain Brahnahr of the Bureau of Navigation, if RFC decides he wants to use it on Safehold in-universe in addition to using it in sea state descriptions for his readers.
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Re: Beaufort scale
Post by Salisria   » Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:49 pm

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Louis R wrote:In any case, I don't have the impression that there's much reference to seafaring in the Writ, so the occasion probably never arose.

The Lakeview settlement had a sufficient fishing fleet to be mentioned in the early part of OAR, so clearly some information on ship building and ship handling was handed out by the archangels. The fact that galleons, sloops, brigs, and galleys all retained their English terminology is strongly suggestive that they were mentioned in the Writ. Schooners were likely omitted for narrative reasons as beyond the famous schooner-rigged clippers used historically for fast, long-distance trade, the schooner rig was used for fishing boats and coasters.
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Re: Beaufort scale
Post by Louis R   » Sat Jun 11, 2022 3:51 pm

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Galleon would be a deliberate revival - as a class they've been out of service for well over 3 centuries now. Longer than galleys, in fact [which are also deliberate archaisms]. And if those are what Safehold started with, there was no info provided for any fore-and-aft rig, nor for staysails of any sort. And if that was a provision of the Writ, Charis would never have gotten away with either schooners or the ship-rig mods to the galleon. Which is what I was getting at: there's little on the subject _in_ the Writ to be violated by the new rigging schemes. And therefore no particular reason to have introduced a scale that would have needed considerable knowledge to convert from the original ship-rig descriptions to fit the characteristics of the types actually in use. Or the simple adoption of the wind-speed classes of the modern scale. Which is pretty much redundant if you can measure the wind directly anyway.

Salisria wrote:
Louis R wrote:In any case, I don't have the impression that there's much reference to seafaring in the Writ, so the occasion probably never arose.

The Lakeview settlement had a sufficient fishing fleet to be mentioned in the early part of OAR, so clearly some information on ship building and ship handling was handed out by the archangels. The fact that galleons, sloops, brigs, and galleys all retained their English terminology is strongly suggestive that they were mentioned in the Writ. Schooners were likely omitted for narrative reasons as beyond the famous schooner-rigged clippers used historically for fast, long-distance trade, the schooner rig was used for fishing boats and coasters.
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Re: Beaufort scale
Post by Salisria   » Sat Jun 11, 2022 10:46 pm

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The original Beaufort Scale was defined in terms of wind's effect on sails, and was redefined first in terms of sea state once steam power began to replace sail power in ships. Obviously the later conversion to numerical wind speeds is not something the archangels would be inclined to provide the colonists.

Like several other areas, to the extent ships and sails are described in the Writ, it's more likely to be giving instructions on how things can be done rather than describing techniques that are proscribed.
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Re: Beaufort scale
Post by Louis R   » Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:31 am

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To be specific, the sails of a frigate. TTBOMK, there were no vessels of the size, rigging or sailing characteristics of 19th-century frigates in use on Safehold - although, since Himself has avoided that sort of extremely technical description, we'd need to get his confirmation for that.

Because different hull forms and sail plans mean that vessels can respond very, very differently to the same wind, the scale was converted to cup anemometer readings [AKA wind speeds] around the time it came into general use. I'd be very surprised if anyone on the command crew had ever heard of Adm Beaufort and his schema to start with, and it would have taken a great deal of research, in sources that probably aren't readily available if they were included at all in the library, to recovery the original and convert it to the ships in use when the Writ was written. I can't imagine that Chihiro would have seen any reason to bother.

Salisria wrote:The original Beaufort Scale was defined in terms of wind's effect on sails, and was redefined first in terms of sea state once steam power began to replace sail power in ships. Obviously the later conversion to numerical wind speeds is not something the archangels would be inclined to provide the colonists.

Like several other areas, to the extent ships and sails are described in the Writ, it's more likely to be giving instructions on how things can be done rather than describing techniques that are proscribed.
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Re: Beaufort scale
Post by Salisria   » Sat Jun 18, 2022 5:53 am

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Obviously there's some knowledge of obsolete ways of measuring things, otherwise Langhorne wouldn't have imposed miles, gallons, etc. On Safehold.

That said, the Beaufort scale itself only came into official use in the 19th century. One of the first ships to use it for its official logbook was HMS Beagle, which wasn't a frigate, during its famous voyage with Darwin aboard. But it was a refinement and improvement over some earlier scales, including one intended not for sailing vessels but windmills. It also wasn't the only wind scale used in the the 19th century, just the one that eventually became the international standard scale.

Regardless, my viewpoint remains unchanged. Including something similar to, if not necessarily the same as, the Beaufort scale in the information imparted to the Adams and Eves by the archangels would both have aided the establishment of the colony and helped prevent any desire for more technical means of determining wind speeds. As such, if its use had occurred to any of Langhorne's clique, it damn well would have been used, especially if some archangel got to associate his or her name with it. That none of the angels who helped in the development of the Writ wouldn't have thought of it strikes me as unlikely, even though it may have been unlikely for the idea to occur to any one particular angel or archangel.
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