1 March 2008

So what's it like on a square rigger?

Well this morning I'm off for a guided tour of a replica Royal Navy frigate, so on my photograph-laden return will be able to give you a better idea of how we shoehorn modern necessities like civilised toilets*, engines and radar into the hull from the age of sail.

* On the originals, it was a plank with appropriate-sized holes which stuck over the side at the bows of the ship - the bow of a boat is also called her head, which is why the toilets were called 'heads', a term which persists on boats to this day. It was exposed both from a weather and personal point of view (fellas, you wouldn't want to take a book with you) and defaulters were often punished by being made to keep the heads clean.

Update: yup, plenty of civilized oceangoing throne rooms possible:

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