Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tall Ships Festival - 8.28.10 - Post 6 (Shipboard Life)

Okay, last post about the ships.

Boom Today, Boom Tomorrow
This is a 32-pound cannon.  Which means that it can fire a 32-pound cannonball.  The cannon itself weighs, literally, tons more.  While I was on the next ship over they fired a 'blank' from this cannon.  The charge they set off was 2 pounds of gunpowder.  I was a whole ship (roughly 100 yards) away from this and the sound was deafening.  I cannot imagine how anyone who actually served during wartime on a vessel like this had *any* useful hearing left after a couple of battles.

Guiding the Ship
This is the figurehead of the Bounty. There was a sign out in front of the ship that explained that the figureheads looked good and brought good luck and all that, but they had another more important purpose.  Illiterate sailors would identify their ships by the figurehead since they couldn't actually read the names on the sides of the hull.  It gave me flashbacks to when I was a kid and our school buses had Disney figures on the side of the bus.  That way little kids who didn't know their numbers yet would get on the right bus.  Most of my life I was on bus 54 - Cinderella.  But occasionally I was on 36 - Dumbo.  I'm going to be 38 years old at the end of this month, so I guess the fact that I can remember that more than 25 years later is proof that it works. :)

Lighting the Way
Three lanterns.  I was always a little freaked out by the idea of lighting a fire on a wooden ship.  These are in glass cases, but still...
Mind the Gap

A shot down the very deep stairs.  Some ships had the below decks open, others didn't.

Very, Very Low Clearance
This one did, obviously.  This is the crew's sleeping quarters.  Those bags are their personal belongings.  That's all they get to bring for the duration of the trip.  This is a rare self-portrait (done with a tripod and timer), as I'd much rather be behind the camera than in front of it.  But I did it this time to illustrate a point.  I'm 4 foot 10 and I couldn't stand up straight.  I'm guessing the headroom was about 4 feet.  It wasn't too bad for me, but can you imagine being, say, a six-foot tall guy?  If you look to the right of my head, there are two little white marks on the rail at the ceiling.  One is the place for one crew member to hang the foot end of his cot (hammock) and the other is where the next person over puts the head end of his.  Sometimes people could be so crammed in they only had fifteen inches across to sleep.  I'm 4 foot 10 and my shoulders are about 15 or 16 inches across when I lay on my back.  Talk about living in a sardine can.

That's a LONG Way Up
One last shot of the ropes, sails and rigging.  That's a LONG way up.  These days people climbing up to fix things wear a harness, but back in the day they didn't.  Think about climbing up to fix that top sail while that boat is out at sea.  I'm not usually someone who's afraid of heights, but I'm not sure I'd be so quick to volunteer for that duty!

Growing Up Pierside

And for something totally random... a juvenile male red-winged blackbird who's starting to go from brown to black and get his red shoulder patches in.  He was eating popcorn tossed to him by a couple of kids and he's got crumbs on his beak.  :)

Okay!  That's it for the ships.  Next?  Fireworks. :)

1 comment:

  1. Dunno if you've got an account over there, but Fark has Farktography competitions, which are basically a photo competition. This week's challenge is waterscapes, and even though there's no big prize or anything, it's a great way to get exposure to a broader audience out there...just thought you'd like to know.

    A direct link to the Farktography is, which is where you can look up upcoming challenges and get to Fark and set everything up there to enter in the competitions.