Finding Longitude

Finding longitude at sea was a long and complex endeavour. It was always clear that sailing without instruments, brought serious problems to navigators with journeys often ending tragically. Throughout the world, governments have encouraged the development of a system which would accurately calculate the distance between islands, countries or continents while assisting navigation. Despite all the efforts and achievements of the astronomical observatories in determining longitude, a more effective solution was born of the will of a self-taught english watchmaker. In 1761, John Harrison (1693-1776) came up with the first marine chronometer, improving it for several years until being able to determine the position of a boat by a third of a second a day. Like other revolutionary inventions, the chronometer came to rescue us from drifting and consequently from death. This first radio show, composed as a small sound narrative, is inspired by and pays tribute to all those who ventured out in the sea in dire, precarious conditions.