Friday, November 28

Acasta in the News


Excerpt from 'The Sussex Weekly Advertiser; Or, Lewes and  Brighthelmston Journal' 30/11/1812
Printer / Publisher:  William and Arthur Lee   Volume Number: LXIV    Issue Number: 3449 

Thursday, November 27

An Artistic Endeavour


When first I set foot down the Royal Naval path of reenacting, I had no idea what an artistic journey I was setting out on! From custom graphics, headers, footers and backgrounds for the Acasta website, to creating the gobs of repro paperwork they used, to painting banners and mail packets… I just didn't see it coming. I've enjoyed it greatly and thought I'd take a moment to share some of the pile of artwork that has gathered.


A few of the original website headers…



The original and current website backgrounds






























Wednesday, November 26

Patrick O'Brian's ACASTA

It's no secret that we here at HMSACASTA.com are huge fans of Patrick O'Brian and the Aubrey-Maturin series. When reading through the books, I discovered that the Acasta makes a couple of cameos. So, here are the 'O'Brian-verse' connections to our particular favourite ship!

MILD SPOILER ALERT: You're about to read some very LIGHT, semi-spoilery info from The Fortune of War, Treason’s Harbour, and The Hundred Days.

From the WikiPOBia:

Acasta is one of a series of ships in the Aubrey-Maturin series whose commands are promised to Captain Jack Aubrey by the Admiralty, but are ultimately given to other, more influential officers. Another such ship, promised to Aubrey but never delivered, is the fictional frigate HMS Blackwater.

The Admiralty’s promise of Acasta is first made to Aubrey in The Fortune of War. She is described by Aubrey to his friend Maturin as a "forty-gun frigate, pretty well the heaviest in the service … And the finest sailer of the lot, on a bowline. Two points off the winds, she could give even dear Surprise foretopgallant, at least. A true, copper-bottomed plum, Stephen…."

Aubrey's fictional characterization of Acasta's speed likely overstates the historical ship's actual performance. The historical Acasta is described as "not outstandingly fast," but is acknowledged to have been "very weatherly" and more maneuverable than most other frigates her size. Likewise, Aubrey's description of Acasta as the "heaviest in the service" is not entirely accurate. Although she was among the largest fifth-rates of her time, she was not the heaviest of her contemporaries. For example, two other British 40-gun fifth-rates launched at the same time as Acasta (Endymion and Cambrian) both outweighed her and mounted heavier weaponry (24-pound cannon).

In The Surgeon’s Mate, Aubrey learns that Acasta has, in his absence while a prisoner-of-war in Boston, been given to Capt. "Robert Kerr." Acasta re-appears later in the Aubrey-Maturin series near the end of The Hundred Days, as part of Admiral Lord Barmouth’s squadron at Gibraltar.