Tuesday, December 11

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

Monday, December 10

How to Paint a Bosun's Hat

ACASTA (sometimes seen as 'Acaste' or 'Akaste') - In Greek mythology, she was one of the Oceanides. A sea nymph, one of the three thousand daughters of the Titans Tethys (mother) and Oceanus (father). According to the Homeric Hymns, Acasta was one among the companions of Persephone when she was gathering wild flowers.

I hunted for anything from the historical naval record that would indicate that the original HMS Acasta had a crest or something that could be used on a hat of this sort with no luck yet. So, to hold its place until we find evidence of the original design, I did several small sketches that involved a sea-nymph/mermaid design in keeping with the ship's mythological namesake. The mermaids are based on several original mermaid illustrations from the period. Most hats of this sort involve a ribbon that bears the ship's name, so I included one of these in each design. Each design also included the mermaid holding a sword as a representation of England's power, and one involved a shield with the Union flag on it.

I eventually settled on the upright tail design with the shield, but the sword was changed to a trident to offer up a little more visual balance. I then traced her onto the hat and started painting. The bosun's hat is felt with about 4 layers of exterior grade black latex house paint on it. The design itself is painted over top of that with Testor's model paint… gold, red, white & blue with black to indicate some of the mermaid's details.

After giving the design a few days to dry, I tackled the lettering, again just black Testor's model paint on the gold. You can also see where I added some detail with the black around the crown at the top.

Here you can see the finished design on the hat as well as on the head of Bosun's mate 'Samuel Hollybrass' at the Fair at New Boston in Aug 2014.

Friday, December 7


The following is the end of the year pep-talk that I posted for the members of the unit. Thought I'd share it here with YOU esteemed readers as well to give you a glimpse behind the scenes!

2018 has been a solid year for the unit!

The Acasta is a group that was created ON PURPOSE, there's not anyone in the group that shouldn't be here or who wasn't directly invited to be a part of it. If you're an Acasta it's because we thought you were AWESOME and grabbed on to you with both hands so someone else didn't snatch you away from us! I wouldn't want to be in any other group with any other people.


2.) Facebook reserach album, make one… 

3.) RSVP for events in advance and keep it updated. Anything else is very rude and makes my life difficult.


5.) ATTENDANCE: Come to events! We want to see you at least once a year or your membership may be in jeopardy.

6.) DRESS CODE: It'll be enforced with inspections each morning. Undress on Friday/Saturday, Dress on Sunday, that goes for everyone.

7.) WEBSITE: HELP! I need your stuff! Seriously, otherwise it just won’t happen.

8.) FIRST PERSON: It's a thing we do at events. No jokey schtick. We can be funny, but it needs to be confined to (and appropriate for) the characters and period that we portray.

9.) DEMOS: Idleness in camp, not so much. Also, if you have any fun ideas of things to do at events, let us know!

10.) SERVICE: What are you going to do personally to service the unit and its goals? Give it some thought, we’ll talk about it in more detail later.

I want your best effort, in EVERYTHING. If you're an Acasta, then you were selected because I KNOW you are capable of that. AS ACASTAS WE WILL HOLD THE BAR UP FOR OURSELVES AND THEN EXERT WHATEVER EFFORT IS REQUIRED TO KEEP IT UP THERE. If you don't have the time or willingness to do that, you need to find a less demanding unit to go be a part of. I'm not interested in being like other units. I INTEND FOR PEOPLE TO EQUATE 'ACASTA' WITH 'QUALITY'.

I'm excited for the coming year and I hope that you are as well!

Thursday, December 6

Apple’s Shiner

Misses Bonnie St. James
Once Apple comes back from liberty ashore with a bloody great shiner and when asked about it he says “do not trust to drink with that William Booth as he is bad to turn mean when he is deep in his cups”.

So later I run into Missus Bonnie what works for Booth and I asked her about Booth giving Apple such a whollop . “Oh” she says “That weren’t Mr. Booth, that was me what done that to that swag Apple”

“How so?” I asks. “Well”, she says ” I just come in the room and he smiles and starts such a song as should never be heard in public- much less in front of a lady! So I punched him a good’un so he would show some respect in the future”.

 I told Apple this later but he never did believe it. Booth also thought he had done the deed for the next time Apple had liberty I did also, and Booth swore eternal friendship and apologies for treating Apple so and they spent the night swapping songs and drinking all night long and cheered on by their mates.

This time they both come away undamaged.

-James Cullen. Remembrances of Eight years before the Mast, 1834.

Apple and Booth, Friends Again!

Wednesday, December 5

Jacob Book


"When they pressed Jacob Booke the Boatswain turned out his pockets. He had three watches , four folding knives and a silk handkerchief embroidered "KM". He turned out to be a tolerable sailor, and if he ever actually stole anything I never heard about it, and aboard ship is a hard place to keep secrets. Sometimes he would pick a shipmates pocket for the amusement of his chums, but he always give it back afterward. I suppose he figured that if he got caught at it he had no place to run."

- James Cullen, Remembrances of Eight years before the Mast, 1834.

Tuesday, December 4


We are pleased to announce that our shipmate Tony Gerard has attended all nine Acasta events this year giving him PERFECT ATTENDANCE in 2018!

British Takeover of Fort Bowyer, Gulf Shores, Alabama, Feb 2018

Sail Training part I, South Haven, Michigan, April 2018

Sail Training part II, South Haven, Michigan, May 2018

The Prize Crew, South Haven, Michigan, June 2018

Battle of Craney Island, July 2018

Jane Austen Festival, Louisville, Kentucky, July 2018

1812 Grand Tactical, Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown NY, July 2018

The Fair at New Boston, Springfield, Ohio, Sept 2018

Colonial Night Watch, St. Augustine, Florida, December 2018

Monday, December 3


Over the weekend the combined crews of HMS FALCON, HMS BELLISARIUS & HMS ACASTA took over the Castillio de San Marcos with a full schedule of Naval inspection, dosing of the sailors what went ashore, singing, sewing and the firing of the gun from the wall of the Castillio itself at regular intervals.

That night, the crew of the FALCON lead the parade with torches while the BELLISARIUS & ACASTA crews brought up the rear and worked crowd control upon our arrival at the Plaza de la ConstituciĆ³n.