Friday, June 22

Friday's Toast

A calm, clear day today. The Captains of the ships on the blockade had the Signal Midshipmen practicing their signal flags for the majority of the afternoon. No sooner would a series of flags be hoisted then the boys would all have out their glasses, eagerly looking for the reply. All manner of mock orders were sent to and fro. 

An uneventful day at sea, followed by an equally uneventful dinner in the Wardroom. After the loyal toast, Lt. Fitzroy, gave the traditional Friday toast.

"A willing foe and sea-room!"

We all drank with great gusto! We all enjoyed the possibility of prize money, and with several of our officers, the more 'willing foes' the better. 

Thursday, June 21

A Bloody War or a Sickly Season

The Ward Room aboard HMS Trincomalee
As it is Thursday, after the Loyal Toast was giv'n and drunk, Lt. McLean offered up "A Bloody War or a Sickly Season". As we drank, I pondered the meaning of such a toast.

Being promoted upon the death of your superiors has been the Naval tradition for time immemorial. But I cannot help think that it is quite morbid to wish the untimely demise of one's associates in order to procure advancement in one's field of occupation. Every man in the Ward Room drank glady to the idea.

Wednesday, June 20

Wednesday's Toast

Sick call at the mast this morning with Baptiste and Reid was followed by dosing and treating the various shipboard illness and injury. Their complaints this morning consisted chiefly of scrapes and bruises common among men whose job it is to climb, handle rope and lift heavy objects on a daily basis.  

The traditional Wednesday toast was offered up in the Ward Room this evening from Lt. McLean, "To Ourselves". 

It was followed by the amusing (and equally traditional) reply from Lt. Fitzroy "As no-one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare!"

Tuesday, June 19

To Our Men

Early this morning, it was thought that a ship was espied attempting to escape the blockade. The men were all excitement that we might be taken into action to give chase, but it was not to be, the American schooner was simply moving about within the harbour and not attempting to 'make a run for it'. After it was discovered that our day was not to be punctuated with a chase and engagement, there was a great deal of sullen coiling of ropes as the men returned to their duties. 

This evening in the Wardroom, Lt. Fitzroy raised his glass and says, "To our Men", the traditional toast giv'n on a Tuesday. 

I took a sip and then passed my glass of Port behind me to Mr. Vassermann. He finished the glass in a single swallow by snapping his head back, then refilled the glass and thanked me as he passed it back. Several of the other Wardroom officers followed suit.

Monday, June 18

To Our Ships At Sea

Ward Room aboard USS Constitution
Mr. Vassermann, who had previously washed my breeches in salt water ensuring that they were uncomfortable and barely fit to wear, has washed them out again in a barrel of rainwater that he has accumulated over the past few days. My poor small clothes should be fit to wear again once they are dried. My breeches were stiff and itchy, and caused the most unpleasant chaffing.

Dinner this evening in the Ward Room, followed by the traditional Monday toast, "To our Ships at sea!". 

It gave me pause, and I considered some of the ships of His Majesty's Navy that we have encountered thus far. 

HMS Ramillies under command of Sir Thomas Hardy 

HMS Poictiers under Capt. Beresford, in whose company we have made several significant captures.

HMS Dotterel, HMS Martin, HMS Nymphe whom we encountered at Bermuda recently.

HMS Maidstone, ├ćolus, Childers and Colibrie with whom we have shared captures.

Wednesday, June 13

New Signal Flag Demonstration

Bring your spyglasses to the Jane Austen Fest July 13-15th 2018 so you can try your hand at sending and receiving messages ship to ship via period signal flags! This awesome new demo will be located near the Acasta naval camp all weekend. These images offer a sneak peek into the play-testing of the demonstration... we hope to see you there!

My 14 year-old daughter flew such vital signals as 'You are gross', 'You look like horse' and the ever popular 'I might mistake you for lizard'.

Tuesday, June 12

Before the Mast Vol II

Our second weekend as the first, brought great success to our continued training. It began by reintroducing everyone as we had been apart for some three weeks and was followed by a refresher on safety equipment on board the Friends Good Will. After we were all reacquainted, we practiced tossing our mooring lines to the dock as well as adjusting the main and head sails. After a slight weather delay we made ready to sail up the channel out onto the lake for our first hands on sail. While we made preparations, the Captain did us Acasta’s a great honor by flying the royal ensign on the flag halyard! We gave our heartiest cheer and thanked him for his kind gesture.

Once we set the main and head sails out on the water, we practiced tacking our good ship to windward and wearing her to get us landsmen used to adjusting the sails to the Captain’s desires. The lake was calm and we had a pleasant breeze to aid us in or practice. We sailed our course parallel to the shore back and forth roughly two miles out for a few hours until it was time to return. As we sailed into the channel we were greeted by many onlookers. Between readying our stations to dock, were able to wave back and enjoy the comfort of the return ride. Once we were moored, the Captain called a huddle at the mast and thanked us all for our time and eagerness to learn. With that, we concluded our training and were accepted as volunteer crew. We now have the opportunity to gain more sailing experience as often as we want and have a wonderful organization and ship to turn our passion for interpretation into real life experience.