|The Lady Washington in action...|
Today, we went on a field trip aboard The Lady Washington. It is a replica of a brig which sailed from Boston to California carrying trade goods. As a fan of C.S. Forester's twelve Horatio Hornblower novels, and of any other adventure tale at sea, this was a real treat. Although I have a very unseaworthy stomach, I still love ships. We were able to see the various parts of the brig, and to have members of the crew as our docents. I have read about hardtack in many books, but today, I was able to smell it and touch it. And, now I actually have a recipe for hardtack, so I can make my own! We also saw samples of salt pork, and of various tools. But, I think my favorite thing that I learned, was about the lead line. Many a midshipman has used the lead line to navigate, and I've never really understood how it worked. Apparently, it is a weight that was once made of lead. The bottom of the weight had a hole, which was filled with sticky tallow. So, it accomplished a dual purpose of measuring depth, and bringing up a sample from the bottom, whether sandy or rocky.
One of my favorite seafaring novels is Typee by Herman Melville. It is one serious page turner. The reader spends several chapters wondering just exactly what is in those mysterious bags hanging from the ceiling of the hut? Are they really heads? Are our gracious hosts really cannibals? All of the assorted books concerning The Whaleship Essex are interesting. The first mate's journal tells his point of view. And, of course, there is the classic Bounty Trilogy with Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian.
I am going to be walking on air for the entire weekend, or walking on water, although that is a bit blasphemous, really…
|The port side of the Lady Washington...|
|Gregory Peck as Horatio Hornblower...|
|Sea lions aplenty on the docks...|
|The main mast and rigging...|
|Love the pattern of the frazzled rope...|
|The old world meets the modern world...|
|The kids were very excited to be able to name the sails...|
|Our helpful docent explains his tools...|
|So long for now, Midshipman Hornblower...|