The dispatches have already been exchanged. The master of the small cutter has just returned to his tiny vessel. Behind it there is towering the enormously massiv silhouette of the huge black and ocher striped three decker. Through the open gunports the lashed up guns can be seen. Also the officers' cabins ports are wide opened by the order of the Captain's to ensure an optimal ventilation of the hot and steamy lower decks.
Clatter of activity on some guns being ran out cuts through the silence. The rumble of the heavy guns rolling over the decks and the trampling of countless bare feet and the short shouted commands supported by a multitude of hand signs originate from the ordered gundrill for new gun crews and their officers. In competition between the three decks they are fighting for the fastest rate of firing. The rest of the ships crew is occupied with cleaning and mending duties. The holystone are scratching on the decks.
Above all the sails hang slack in their yards. No breath of wind moves them. They are nestled heavily over stays and fighting tops. The captain took advantage of the hot calm to put up all the canvas possible for airing. One of the studdingsails is taken in, the spar tied up with its inner end against the shrouds, in order to mend something on its fittings. Sitting on a swing seat pendent from the fore top, a crew member just is finishing painting over with ocher the originally black coloured mast loops.
On the poop Captain Hardy monitors the young cadets´ training in navigation, supported by Lord Nelson, who uses the opportunity to entertain the cadets with stories of his actions and the ideas of his tactical concepts.
But in the back of everybodys mind there is just one question - When will there be wind again ...
Edited by dafi, 05 July 2013 - 03:31 PM.