Friday, September 25, 2009
You Gotta Love The Navy...!
My friend, Minerva, sent me this little bit of naval history just because she knows how much I love sharing these little tidbits with all my readers!
I found this to be very interesting because just how tough the sailors of old were! These guys were some really BAD fellers, indeed! Just read this record of a very familiar ship in American history and one of their campaigns!
The U. S. S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers).
However, let it be noted that according to her ship's log, "On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."
Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."
Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.
Then she headed for the Azores , arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine...
On 18 November, she set sail for England . In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.
By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland . Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.
The U. S. S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water.
Can you believe this? In the dead of night, with no powder, no shot, nothing but great big brass ones...and an even bigger thirst, they landed in Scotland and stole 40,000 gallons of whisky from a distillery owned by a foreign country!
Like I said, these were some BAD boys...and very frugal in the use of their water, I might add! Yep...you gotta LOVE the Navy!
Now, let's get some coffee and sit at the table for a bit!