Image

Turn the glass and strike the bell

Compass and bell, SV Tenacious

Compass and bell, SV Tenacious

Before the advent of accurate time pieces, time on a ship was regulated by the bell and a system of watches lasting either four or two hours. When the sand had run through a 30-minute “hour glass”, the glass was turned to start again and the bell was struck. In a four-hour watch, the bell would be struck from one to eight times, an increase of one strike every 30 minutes and performed in sets of two. So, for example, if you heard two sets of quick strikes followed by a single strike, you would know it was “five bells” in whatever the watch was (forenoon, morning, etc). Of course, this entire timekeeping process depended on an accurate glass and attention to detail!

The bell in this photo is from SV Tenacious, on which I’ve sailed many times. You can see the intricate rope pull hanging from the bell. The original captain liked to have the bell rung and it was the watch leader’s responsibility to see that it was done. I would start checking my watch every 15 seconds or so from five minutes before the time, mentally going over the number of strikes required. Once I forgot, and gradually was aware that the captain was quietly standing at the corner of the chart house, just gazing at me. Oh dear!

December Squares #timesquare

Advertisements
Image

Square Sky 24: Watery sunrise

Who knew the North Sea could look so mysterious?

“Watery” not online because it’s at sea, but because there’s a wavering, watercolour look to this photo. This is off the coast of Belgium, shot on a morning watch from the tall ship ‘Tenacious’ in 2006.

Square Sky December

Aside

The view from the window: Tenacious in Fiji

Tenacious through the window of a church in Daliconi, Fiji

Tenacious through the window of a church in Daliconi, Fiji

This is the second post in an occasional series called “The view from the window” — and, coincidentally, it features the same ship as in the first post! Daliconi is a small village in the Exploring Isles in Fiji, and was badly hit by Hurricane Winston in February this year.


sailing-badge

click here for other posts about Fiji

view-from-window-badge

The view from the window: Tenacious in Sydney

The view west from my office building on George Street, Sydney. What's in the red box?

The view west from my office building on George Street, Sydney. What’s in the red box?

I know what you’re thinking: why is Kaz inflicting this very dull view of office buildings on us? Look closer at the object with the red box around it.

It’s a tall ship!

Tenacious Maritime Museum Darling Harbour Sydney

Aha, there’s an enormous tall ship parked in front of the Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour!

In fact, it is MY tall ship, Tenacious, operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust of Southampton, England. I helped to build this beautiful ship in the late 1990s when I lived in London, so feel quite proprietorial about her. I was one of 1,500 volunteers who pitched in over three years to sand and epoxy and paint and sweep and whatever. I’ve crossed the Atlantic in her twice, and in June this year spent two weeks sailing around remote Fijian islands in the ship.

Tenacious has now made landfall in Sydney on her first around-the-world voyage, and will be spending the next nine months in Australia.

And there she is!

And there she is!

I find it absolutely surreal that I can look from my office building in Sydney’s central business district and see this ship that holds so many memories for me.

(This is the first post in an occasional series to be called “The view from the window”.)


sailing-badge

view-from-window-badge

Image

Sailing by Numbers

Tenacious bell. Ship launched in 2000.

Tenacious bell. Ship launched in 2000.

Tomorrow (2016-06-05) I fly to Fiji to join voyage 461 of the tall ship Tenacious (which starts on 2016-06-08). It will be voyage 15 for me on the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s 2 ships.

Tenacious. JST ship 002.

Tenacious. JST ship 002. I must admit that I laughed when the first time I saw this 3-digit optimism, and the massive fleet of tall ships it conjured up!

In 2005, Tenacious graced a 60 cent stamp of the Republic of Ireland (Eire).

60 cent Irish stamp, 2005

60 cent Irish stamp, 2005

I have a particular fondness for this ship because I helped to build her. When the Jubilee Sailing Trust set out to build a second tall ship in the 1990s, they approached its construction the same way they approach the sailing of a ship: a mix of skilled professionals and unskilled lay-people, a mix of able-bodied and physically-disabled people.

The keel of as-yet-unnamed ship was laid by HRH the Duke of York in a ceremony on 1996-07-06. In 2000-09, the JST’s new ship, now proudly named Tenacious, set off on her maiden voyage.

Tenacious leaving her home port of Southampton, 2000-09.

Tenacious leaving her home port of Southampton on her first official voyage, 2000-09.

Need more numbers? Tenacious is 65m/213ft3in long (including bowsprit), has a beam of 10.5m/34ft6in, displaces 714tonnes, and has a sail area of 1200m2/12,920sq ft. The masthead is 38m/124ft8in above the deck.

To put those measurements into perspective, here she is in Horta (the Azores) in 2006-04, on voyage 156, dwarfing the yachts and pleasure boats beside her.

Tenacious in Horta, 2006

Tenacious in Horta, 2006


sailing-badge