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Louie da fly

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    Ballarat, Australia
  • Interests
    History, particularly the Middle Ages

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  1. That looks REALLY good, Tecko! I only wish I could be up there to see it in person. Steven
  2. Thanks for the good wishes, Pat, but it's just too far for me to drill, especially as I don't have a drill press. I expect I'll find another use for the piece of wood, and in the meantime I'm making up a replacement. Steven
  3. Just working on the second spar of the lateen yard and - AAAARGHHH!!. There must have been a flaw in the wood. I was filing it all smooth after having trimmed it almost to shape with a Stanley knife, and the end broke clean off. Nothing I can do. If I glue it back together it will just break again, probably at the most inconvenient possible time. I thought maybe a pin joining the two ends, but I really don't have the equipment (or the skill) to drill to that level of precision. And after all that work, too. Still, I'd rather have it happen now than later. And I have plenty more wood, so off we go again with a new piece, starting all over again. By the way, I should have been a little more informative regarding the Serce Limani anchor. It would originally have had a stock, but being made of wood it would have disintegrated in the 1000 years underwater since she sank. Steven
  4. Beautiful work, as usual, Patrick. Just out of interest, how tall is that "crew member" in your last photo? Steven
  5. Mark, Yes, if by a lateral bar you mean the anchor stock. In fact, the original picture I was working from has since been superseded by more accurate drawings of all the Serce Limani anchors in the book Serçe Limani: An Eleventh-Century Shipwreck Vol. 1, The Ship and Its Anchorage, Crew, and Passengers by G. F. Bass, S. D. Matthews, J. R. Steffy, and F. H. Van Doorninck. A preview can be seen at https://books.google.com.au/books?id=E6ZJ-05aC-sC&pg=PA237&lpg=PA237&dq=serce+limani+wreck+anchor&source=bl&ots=2c7A-6VvFY&sig=RSqn4jY5rzHnXn7M80QDf6Wdq9Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj40c_1v8PdAhUD57wKHV-oCHUQ6AEwC3oECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=serce limani wreck anchor&f=false, (you'll have to do a bit of scrolling to get to the right bit) I've had to somewhat revise the form the anchor has taken, but only in fairly minor details - the hole for the stock turns out to be circular and the housing for it is diamond-shaped, and the shank is also circular in section. I wasn't all that happy with the first anchor anyway, but I've made it as close as I could to the later version. I'll probably still use it - otherwise it's a lot of work wasted. It's not surprising that the drawings have been revised - there was a lot of rust and concretions which would disguise the true form of the anchor on first investigation. After all, it's been at the bottom of the sea for almost 1000 years (the ship probably sank in about 1025 AD, judging by the coins she had on board). Steven
  6. More planking. I've decided that 4 isolated planks each side is enough for my purposes - more than that looks wrong. So I've started on the other side. Here's the first anchor under construction. It's almost complete - compare it with the pictures on the previous page. I will blacken it and add a stock in due course. The dromons of the Crete expedition were to be provided with 6 anchors each. Anchors of the time were relatively light - the Serce Limani wreck had 9 wrought iron anchors ranging in weight from 50 to 65 kilograms (100 to 130 lb), all to the same basic design, arranged in two stacks on the foredeck. It appears that the snapping of the stern anchor (the snapped anchor has been recovered) as the ship sought refuge in the bay from a storm was the cause of the ship's loss - they didn't have time to drop another anchor. And the anchor on the foredeck to give an idea of scale. And here's one of the spars of the lateen yard in progress. Steven
  7. That's a very good point, Mark. So maybe I did the right thing after all, albeit unknowingly. Certainly, there is a lot of bracing in the hull in the shape of stringers and wales,and in fact Prof Pryor did make the point that the decking would have provided much needed stiffness to a hull that was very long and thin - I'd just forgotten that he'd done so (a senior moment,perhaps?). Steven
  8. Thanks for this, Bedford. A nice answer to the puzzle. Fascinating stuff. Steven
  9. Louie da fly

    Girona by augustus

    Wow! Amazing work! I'd never heard of the Girona, so I looked her up. Fascinating history. Apart from the treasure, was much of the wreck itself recovered? Steven
  10. Thanks for all the likes. It's good to feel others are following along with the build and enjoying it, and perhaps even think I'm on the right track, (something I sometimes have doubts about). Though the argument for dromons being fully decked is as usual based on far too little information and indirect references in contemporary records, from the evidence he provides I am satisfied that Prof Pryor is correct in stating that they were fully decked. The most telling in my view is the testimony of John Kaminiates who had been forced to row in a dromon captured by Arabs in 904: “ ... the barbarians with us put themselves on the upper benches and left the lower [benches] to us, which were full of deep gloom and evil smells, and could only be described as a floating grave”. However, I don't believe this invalidates my idea of planking with small gaps between - below decks would still have received little light under these circumstances. I'd been hoping that his using the word "gloom" instead of "dark" would have reinforced this idea, but unfortunately that's how it was translated, not how it reads in the original Greek, which has "much darkness" (or perhaps "great darkness"). By the way, I was recently lucky enough to be shown a number of pinus nigra (black pine) trees growing in a forest planted over 100 years ago in Creswick, about 20 minutes drive from home. This is the timber the planks of my dromon should have been made of if I'd had access to it, instead of the ubiquitous pinus radiata from the local hardware shop I was obliged to use. I took home a (small) fallen branch and was pleasantly surprised to find the two timbers look very similar. Steven
  11. Looking great, Christos! Steven
  12. Great to see this one under way, Chris. A whole new adventure! Steven
  13. It is said that Queen Elizabeth the First had a bath once a month, whether she needed one or not. 😝 Steven
  14. I agree. The colouring looks really good and lifelike. Steven

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