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<   No. 1649   2007-08-02   >

Comic #1649

1 Long Tom: Arrr, I be havin' it! This part clearly be the coast o' East Caicos. We be headin' nor-by-east until this rock and that peak align, and be sailin' straight for the peak.
2 Long Tom: We be takin' to the boats, landin' on the beach, marchin' inland to a great tree wi' roots like buttresses, and then be spyin' spray from a waterfall to the west.
3 Long Tom: This be easy! We be headin' west-sou-west halfway to yon waterfall from the tree, then be marchin' a hundred paces north!
3 Wendy: Uh, cap'n...
4 Long Tom: What be it, Wendy?
4 Wendy: Don't ye be holdin' yon map upside down?

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East Caicos is one of the Caicos Islands, north of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea.

Apparently it has a coastline that resembles the coast of some other island somewhere in the Caribbean if you look at it upside down.

2017-11-26 Rerun commentary: Of course, "upside down" as far as maps go is purely a convention anyway, so this isn't really as big a problem as it might sound at first.

In fact, historically, maps have been oriented in all sorts of different ways. South at the top has been and still is common in certain contexts.

The T and O style maps common in Europe during the Medieval period typically had east placed at the top. The very word "orientation" comes from the Latin oriens, meaning "east" - the same root as the word "Orient" meaning "the east".

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