Tuesday, November 20

A Day Ashore 2

Mr. Cooper considers his next move.
Mr. Cooper instructs Mr. Raley.
Lt. Ramsey comes up the walk with Nigel en tow.
Mr. Cooper, Mr. Raley and Mr. Kaufman in the study.

In the dining room.
Special thanks to Historic Rock Castle for playing host and Rick Murray from Memories by Murray for the amazing photography.

Monday, November 19

A Day Ashore

Mr. Midshipman Raley at his lessons in the study.
Mr. Cooper in the comfortable chair.
Lt. Ramsey in plainclothes arrives fashionably late.

Miss Waterman & Mrs. Cooper on a walk about the grounds.

Nigel the house servant is a coarse and unpleasant fellow.
Special thanks to Historic Rock Castle for playing host and Rick Murray from Memories by Murray for the amazing photography.

Friday, November 16

Popham's Telegraph Signal Flag Generator

Capt. C. Bertani
Lately, Captain Bertani of HMS Cornwall (74) North Sea station, has written a program that will translate typed text into 1806 Popham Telegraph Signal Flags!

Not only can you choose to use the start and finish flags, but you can alter the shape and size of the flags themselves.

Thanks to Capt. Bertani for writing this fun program and for pointing it out to me!

Wednesday, November 14

Finding Fresh Water

It is always a challenge to keep enough fresh, drinkable water aboard the Acasta, and this prolong'd blockade has made it especially challenging. The Captain ordered that a party of men should be assembled and sent ashore to secure a source of fresh drinking water to hold us over until the next time we could get in to Halifax.
Acasta men find a source of water!
Capt. Freymann in discussion with Mr. Cushing.
Not only did he request my presence, but he went himself, to 'stretch out his legs', he insisted. Normally, the Lieutenants would have advised against it, but the area was quite remote, and we carried nearly enough armed men with us to form a boarding party by ourselves.
Mr Midshipman Raley (in an old borrowed LTs coat) keeps an eye out.
Capt Freymann and the Doctor consult about the quality of the source.
We followed a little stream inland for a ways and after a while were satisfied that it would not be contaminated with waste from further upstream. I pointed out to the men the best spots to take the water from, spots that should afford us the freshest water available, and the men began to fill keg after keg.
The Doctor instructs as to the best place to draw the water from.

Tuesday, November 13

From the Naval Chronicle

The following letter appeared in the most recent edition of the Naval Chronicle. While it has made its way around the Wardroom, and all the gentlemen therein seem in agreement that the letter sounds like something that might come from my pen, I was quick to point out that I did not sign the letter to the Editor, therefore there was no evidence to connect me to such a missive.
lately met with some remarks on the inadequate provisions for assistant-surgeons in the army, the contents of which I am most willing to allow, I trust that the Petty Officers (as they are termed in the nautical language), of that description in the navy, have no less a claim on the attention of government ; and as things of this nature are but too apt to be overlooked, from a want of due representation, will you be pleased to insert the following remarks on the comparatively great grievances under which the junior, and more particularly, the senior assistant-surgeons, in the navy, labour.

The naval assistants are all, on their first appointments, obliged to supply themselves with instruments, to the amount of 20l. or upwards, while the military assistants do not supply themselves with any.

The assistant in the army commences full pay from the date of his commission, the naval assistant from his appearance on board: the ship to which he is appointed by warrant being perhaps then up the Mediterranean, an interval, in all probability, of three months elapsing before he can join her. The half-pay of a naval assistant commences at two shillings after two years servitude, while that of the other commences, if reduced, the day after his first appointment, at three shillings. The full pay of the latter is seven shillings and sixpence, that of the former is only six shillings and sixpence. The former messes with his colonel, while the other labours under the painful necessity of living in a cockpit, among a set of noisy youngsters, just let loose from their mother's apron strings; the second lieutenant of marines, who, by His Majesty's Order in Council, is inferior in rank, living in the ward of a gun-room. What a situation for a man of liberal education, and of a contemplative and studious mind, to be placed in! The army assistant, if he happen to lose any part of his baggage on a march or otherwise, is most Handsomely compensated; the other, after braving all the inclemencies and fury of the tempestuous elements, and losing his all, by shipwreck, on application, receives only a flat denial, and is, if not blessed by fortune, obliged to run in debt, if he is lucky enough to find a creditor, or go nearly in a state of nudity, until his next quarterly bill becomes due.

He is thus constrained to make, an appearance, the most distressing to an officer, that of being unable to shew himself on the quarter-deck, in the dress suitable to his situation in the service. The military assistant, if ordered a passage on board any of His Majesty's ships, messes in the wardroom, and walks the starboard side of the quarter-deck, while the naval assistant is allowed neither of these privileges. This last circumstance I should not mention, as not being of any material consequence; but I wish to point out the great distinction made in the situation, and preference shewn to one set of officers, more than another, of the same rank, whose services and education (without meaning to give offence), I will venture to say, are, perhaps, at least on an equal footing. In a future communication, I shall point out the peculiar situation in which the senior naval assistants are placed.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.

Friday, November 9

In the Wardroom

During the blockade, life in the Wardroom has become the social highlight of our days. The opportunity to sit and take a meal with my fellows, play games, sing and play music, read. Granted it is far from the sort of social gathering one would expect on land, but it does seem to bring the officers together in its own way. 

Following the Loyal Toast this evening was the traditional Friday toast of "A willing foe and sea room". After the dishes were mostly cleared by the stewards, it was on to our various pursuits whilst grazing at the remnants of supper. 

Lieutenant Hamilton has been working on stitching his new Chapeau Bras, ever complaining that his poor eyes can barely see the black thread on black ribbon atop the black hat in the dim light of the Wardroom. He is quite frustrated in regard to the size of his fingers in comparison to the diminutive size of the curved needle he is using, and has expressed this in very colourful language on several occasions.

Lieutenant Ramsey has been about putting together a new pair of trousers from a bad piece of material purchased while ashore. Months ago, after it was purchased, we laid it out on the table to make ready to cut out the pieces, and we thought we espied some discolouration in the fabric. To make certain, we carried the material up on deck and laid it out proper in the sunlight, and sure enough, the material had the most peculiar light blotches on it. Ramsey is now having to attempt to salvage as much material as he can by placing the pattern pieces strategically around the discoloured spots. 

Lieutenant Tumbusch, the newest addition to the Wardroom, has been embroiled in a series of books since his arrival in August of this Present Year. I HAVE been able to pull him away from his reading on occasion to play at cards, dice &c.  He, being recently promoted, has been in discussions with the others about the procurement of proper buttons for his new coat, and we are all in agreement that they are not as easy to get as we should like.
Captain May of the Marines has done a great deal of business back and forth via the post in regards to the ongoing construction of his new house. We have all heard in detail about the architecture, stone work and even the 'secret tunnel' that will lead out behind the house itself. As much as I have heard, I am ashamed that I do not know how close the house is to actually being finished.
Captain May's new home.

Ship's Master Mr. Minnis is very inclined toward music and will sing or play an instrument most evenings. He knows a great number of songs from memory. You may hear a sampling of him with a young lady ashore from two years ago by clicking below.
Mister Dubbeld, who joined the Acasta in October, smokes a long curved pipe, always filled with the most aromatic tobacco. It hangs in the air and swirls about the glowing lanterns hung from the beams like clouds in an artificial sunset. Mr. Dubbeld is always very well dressed, and often talks of a shop that he and his wife ran back home that sold all manner of fine cloth.

Mister Cushing, the ship's purser always seems busy about his many reports. While a very friendly fellow and liked by all, I have been uneasy about him since our mission to New Boston. I have determined to covertly keep my eye on him, and do occasionally glance over his shoulder with a feigned disinterest to have a look at what he's reading or writing. As Pursers have a rather notorious reputation for swindling and cheating, I find it difficult to discern the run-of-the-mill dishonesty from the sort that may pose a danger to King and Country.
Keeping and eye on the Purser.

Thursday, November 8

No Mercy Today

During my recent visit ashore, there was a bit of unpleasantness that resulted in a duel of pistols. You may see the results above.

Wednesday, November 7

The Doctor and his Pistol

Footage of the Doctor's recent visit to the Muster on the Wabash.

Tuesday, November 6

Rule, Britannia!

Greetings Acasta Log Reader,

Above is an artistic piece designed specifically to promote the HMS Acasta group and website. It features (from Left to Right) Capt. Robt. Freymann, 1st Lt. J. Hamilton waited on by honorary Acasta D. McArdle, 2nd Lt. M. Ramsey, Midshipman D. Raley, Purser B. Cushing, Able Seaman Mr. Houston, Acasta Surgeon Doctor Roberts, Able Seaman Mr. Alexander.

You may feel free to make use of this piece so long as you do not remove the 'HMS Acasta' website address, or alter the images in any way. Also, having the picture LINK back to www.hmsacasta.com would be greatly appreciated.
A few additions to the Acasta log this past month include the addition of author James Vassermann.
The new buttons & new author credit.
I have also experimented with the addition of buttons at the bottom of each log entry to more easily allow you to share posts you like with friends via email, Blogger, Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. 
On a sad note, I got the following message via Commander Schifferdecker on the Western Lakes Station: 

"Voluntary Mourning Mark 

During the coming 2013 re-enactment season, naval re-enactors are encouraged to consider the voluntary wearing of a black cloth armband on the left sleeve as a mark of respect for the loss of BOUNTY, and her people who perished. 

Victor Suthren 
Hon Capt(N) 
Commodore pro tem 
Naval Establishments 

The Acasta crew will be honoring the Bounty in like fashion during this coming year at several of our official events. 
The Doctor with his black armband at the Muster on the Wabash,  Nov. 2012.
On a less somber note, if you enjoy reading the adventures of the HMS Acasta, be certain to become an honorary member of the crew. This is a simple way to show us that you're out there and paying attention. It is a simple matter really, there is a blue button along the right side of this very page that will allow you to join. 

And Second, I would ask that you comment from time to time on the posts that interest you the most. This is an excellent way to let the crew of the Acasta know what you, the reader, is the most interested in seeing. It is always most gratifying to know what the readers like. 

The Acasta log is generally updated every weekday at 8am CST, visit back often, and tell your History/Royal Navy friends to visit us.

Thanks for reading!