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Weekly Posts related to: ship masts and rigging

Week 15 – high drama on the John Pirie

Scene: sunday before a hard gale

  It is a week of high drama on board the John Pirie. First bad weather whips up heavy seas. The passengers all huddle on deck trying vainly to escape the leaks, only to be drenched by a sudden wave that washes right over them. This frightens the ship’s cat so much that he leaps overboard […]

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Week 09 Shipwrecks

Artist representation of the ship John Pirie

The United Nations estimates that there are more than 3 million shipwrecks in the world. The reasons ships become wrecked are varied, including poor weather, low visibility, navigation errors, underwater obstacles, mechanical problems, ship maintenance issues, poor design, improperly stored cargo, warfare, piracy, mutiny, sabotage and fire. Imagine the emotions onboard a vessel before it […]

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Week 09 – to sea at last

Model of the ship Duke of York

Clear of the Channel at last, the Duke of York was finally making progress, although conditions were still uncomfortable for the passengers.  Captain Morgan reported that the seas were high and that ‘great quantities’ of water continued to swamp the decks.  This was bad news for those below, who would have been wet, cold and […]

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Week 05: Ship Shape

We now find three ships at sea; the Duke of York, the John Pirie and the Cygnet. So how do they measure up? This week we take a look at the ships themselves. What are they made of? How similar are they? How are they designed to keep afloat and what keeps them sailing smoothly? […]

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Week 04 – A fair wind

Sketch of the Cygnet at anchorage, Port Augusta, April 1833.

The middle of March found both the John Pirie and the Duke of York still anchored close to shore in the English Channel, as strong adverse winds and torrential rain delayed their departure still further. But by 19 March the winds had swung around and Captain Morgan prepared his ship once more for sea. His duty called, […]

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