Page:The Pathfinder of the Seas.djvu/87

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55
HIS WIND AND CURRENT CHARTS

went from the Capes of Virginia to Rio in 35 days and returned in 40 days, by following Maury's directions. This created considerable interest in the new charts, and the number of those willing to cooperate in the new research on the sea constantly increased from year to year. Maury had long looked forward to the prospect of no longer being compelled to search through cartloads of manuscripts and dusty log books, kept in years gone by without system and with little or no regard to the facts which he wished to obtain from them, but of having as co-laborers a thousand or more vessels every year engaged in collecting exactly the information required so that it would come to his hands precisely in the form in which it was desired. In this he was not to be disappointed for by the close of the year 1848 he was able to write that his charts were eagerly sought by navigators and that some five or six thousand of them had been distributed during the year to American shipmasters. By no means all of these navigators kept their part of the agreement and sent in to Maury their abstract logs properly filled out; but enough data kept coming in to keep his staff of helpers constantly at work turning out his various charts. By 1851, he could write that more than one thousand ships in all the oceans were observing for him, and that enough material had been collected from abstract logs to make two hundred large manuscript volumes each averaging from two thousand to three thousand days' observations.

These "Wind and Current Charts" included Track Charts, Trade Wind Charts, Pilot Charts, Thermal Charts, Storm and Rain Charts, and Whale Charts. The Track Charts showed the frequented parts of the