Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Continuity mistake: The position of the needle and thread lying on Peter's body differ in the wide shot and following close-up.

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Super Grover

Factual error: At the end of the film, Aubrey sends the de-masted prize Acheron to Valparaiso, Chile, for repairs. Valparaiso is 3,000 miles from the Galapagos Islands, and, in 1805, was a tiny village without appropriate port facilities to dock or repair anything as large as a frigate. Valparaiso did not become a major port until after Chilean Independence from Spain (1810). Guayaquil (in modern Ecuador) would have been a more appropriate choice, being about 750 miles from the Galapagos, and being a major port in 1805. The choice between the two ports was moot, anyway, since both municipalities were Spanish territory in 1805, and thus were allied with the French, and hostile to the British.

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Factual error: After Stephen Maturin comes back with a small portion of findings from the Galapagos Islands, he presents a stick insect to Captain Aubrey, but stick insects (Phasmids) don't exist in the Galapagos Islands.

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Trivia: When Captain Aubrey makes the toast 'To wives and sweethearts - may they never meet' he is following a custom in the Royal Navy called the toast of the day. There was a special toast for every day of the week. This one in particular was usually for Saturdays. There is a minor mistake, however: tradition dictated that the proposer (in this case, the captain) would say the first part 'to wives and sweethearts', to which the most junior officer present would reply 'may they never meet'. Here is the list that seems to be most commonly followed dates from before Trafalgar, courtesy of the Canadian Navy website: Monday - our ships at sea, Tuesday - our men, Wednesday - ourselves, because no one else is likely to both, Thursday - a bloody war or a sickly season (to ensure quicker promotion), Friday - a willing foe and sea room (The two preceding seem to be of historical interest only), Saturday - wives and sweethearts - may they never meet (reply is made by the youngest officer present) Sunday - absent friends.

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Trivia: The book, from which the film is based, was actually set during the "War of 1812" between Britain and America, and in the book the Acheron is an American made vessel used by America. By contrast, in the film the Acheron is an American made ship used by the French, who are the nemesis of Britain in this film.

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Trivia: Paul Bettany describes the scenes in which he collects insects: "I don't like insects. They tend to scamper and scuttle, so it was difficult." He also practiced for his self-operating scene by sitting "at home and [trying] it with a butter knife in front of the mirror."

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Capt. Jack Aubrey: England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship *is* England.

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Capt. Jack Aubrey: This is the second time he's done this to me. There will not be a third.

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Capt. Jack Aubrey: To wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.

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Question: Will someone explain to me navigation. I have never heard of "Sou Sou West" or "Sou East by East."

Chosen answer: There are four major directions (North, South, East and West), four minor (North East, south east, south west and north west) and 16 sub directions. Among these are South South West and South east by East. South South West is between South West and South and South East by East is between south east and east.

SexyIrishLeprechaun

Question: Can anyone tell me about the strange flag (sort of a blue lozenge in a white field) the Surprise flies in her disguise as a whaler?

Ioreth

Chosen answer: The flag is a signal flag, and is probably meant to signal that the ship is a whaler or engaged in fishing operations. Such flags were part of an international code, which, with some modification, is still in use today. (The flag is similar to the modern-day "Foxtrot".)

Question: What is the "flightless cormorant" that the doctor discovers in the Galapagos Islands? (It appears to be a dodo, which had already been extinct for more than 150 years.)

Chosen answer: "The "flightless cormorant" that the doctor discovers in the Galapagos Islands" is a Galapagos Flightless Cormorant (see http://www.rit.edu/~rhrsbi/GalapagosPages/Cormorant.html). In my opinion, it looks nothing at all like a Dodo (see http://www.nature.ca/notebooks/english/dodo.htm).

J I Cohen

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