You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Careening -- Pirates Watch Out!


        As a result of the research I did for my novel, Cassia, set in the NC Outer Banks and the Atlantic Coast in 1799, I have lots of interesting trivia about pirates and maritime customs I’d like to share.
        One practice is called “careening,” turning a wooden ship on its side to expose the hull. It was the most dangerous time for pirates as it made them vulnerable to attack.
Barnacles
        Ships’ hulls would become thick with grasses, seaweed, worms, mold, and organisms such as barnacles making the ships difficult to steer. Since speed was critical to pirates, it was necessary for the hulls to be scraped every two to three months.
        Careening also allowed for repairs of damage caused by dry rot or cannon shot and for coating the exterior with a layer of sulfur, tar and tallow to reduce leakage.
        A wooden ship would be beached at high tide to expose the ship below the waterline. This was also called “hove down.”

Hove down
        Ships would be taken to a shallow area and the masts pulled to the ground by securing the top halyard to an object such as a tree.
        The practice of heeling over a ship in deep waters by shifting ballast or cannon to one side was called “Parliamentary heeling.” It was a much faster way of cleaning the hull. 
       













In 1782, the HMS Royal George was lost while undergoing this procedure.




The Xanthakos Family Trilogy
 





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