Thursday, July 20

Meet the REAL Acasta

Sir J. T. Duckworth's Action off St. Domingo, Feby 6th. 1806 (PAD5760)
Hand-coloured.; Technique includes etching. Published 1 Feb 1817

HMS Magicienne (36) at right and HMS Acasta (44) on the left at the Battle of San Domingo, the only primary source (original, from the era) image of Acasta, other than the original plans, known to exist.

HMS Acasta Deck, Quarter & Forecastle
HMS Acasta Frame
HMS Acasta Gun Deck
HMS Acasta Inboard Profile Plan
HMS Acasta Lines
HMS Acasta Orlop Deck
HMS Acasta Upper Deck Plan
These plans from the Royal Museums Greenwich collection

Wednesday, July 19

Dinner at the Jane Austen Festival

The Acasta hosted a number of special guests at their dinner at the 2017 Jane Austen Festival. The above video features some of the highlights of that magical dinner experience. Special thanks to all the hard work of the guests and the cooks and servers and servants who helped to make this amazing dinner take place!

Tuesday, July 18

Mr. Apple at the Helm

At this year's Jane Austen Festival the Acasta hosted a magnificent meal with special guests from all over. The Doctor was forced to hand over the videography duties to ship's carpenter Jim Apple. 

The following are some of the delightful results.

Monday, July 17

The Voyages of Captain Cook

The Voyages of Captain Cook
edited by John Borrow and Ernest Rhys

a review by Tony Gerard

This particular book is a reprint of a 1906 edition originally titled “Captain Cook’s Voyages of Discovery”. It is edited somewhat oddly. Cook made three voyages of discovery between 1768 and 1779. The original editor uses original sources to write a third person narrative account of the first two voyages. For the third voyage he uses Cook’s journal to write a first person narrative, later switching to Lieutenant King’s journal after Cook’s death at the hands of native Hawaiians.

Although it’s an interesting read, I often wondered what I was missing by not reading the actual account. For instance in the introduction it’s mentioned that Cook had a difficult time convincing his crew to eat walrus meat during his time in the Arctic. The book only makes a mention that the crew eventually cane to like walrus meat and I’m left wondering what type of juicy historical tidbit, the kind that we history nerds love, I might have missed.

Another issue I have is that of maps. I’d really like to see where Cook was when. The book does provide a map for each voyage, but it’s just a line drawn on a silhouette map with various islands named. Since many of the names used at the time have changed from what we currently use the maps are of only vague help.

Cook’s voyages were spectacular – from the coasts of New Zealand and Australia, to the islands of the south Pacific, to the artic coasts of North America and Russia. His emphasis on cleanliness and scurvy prevention (using sauerkraut, ship brewed beer and fresh provisions at every opportunity) revolutionized certain aspects of naval health care. I’m sure tales and accounts of the voyages would be well known by the average British tar. 

So in summation, if you want a good solid account of all three voyages all in one place, this isn’t a bad book. If you actually want the historic detail, and you want to know exactly what happened where, there is probably a more modern selection that might be a better choice.

Friday, July 14

The 2017 Mail Packet, Deliver'd

The MAIL PACKET gets deliver'd to the ACASTA on Sunday while they are ashore at the Jane Austen Festival! Herein find a sneak preview of a few of the many excellent letters we rec'd this present year for inclussion in the packet. 


As you can see, it was another year of beautiful submissions from our friends and readers! We'd like to take a minute to thank those who contributed to the 2017 packet:

J. Winchester
E. Rust
A. Miller

and Melissa Alexander who taught a special class for period letter writing
and had her pupils write 50 letters to be added to the packet!

We are so pleased and honored by the interest you all showed and by the submitted pieces themselves. Without you, the mail packet project would be woefully empty. The Packet is slated to be delivered on Sunday at NOON at the 2017 Jane Austen Festival. 

Keep watching participants, there's more to come!