Sunday, 30 September 2007


The title Post-Captain was used to distinguish those who were captains by rank from

  • officers in command of a naval vessel, who were (and still are) addressed as captain regardless of rank;
  • commanders, who received the title of captain as a courtesy, whether they currently had a command or not. (Note that Commander's rank is lower than Captain.)

Once an officer had been promoted to post-captain, his further promotion was strictly by seniority; if he could avoid death or disgrace, he would eventually become an admiral (even if only a yellow admiral).

In the Royal Navy of the time, an officer might have a rank, but not a command. Until the officer had a command, he was "on the beach" and on half-pay. An officer who was promoted from commander was a captain, but until he was given a command, he was on half-pay. Once the captain was given a command, his name was "posted" in the "Naval Gazette."

An officer "took post" or was "made post" when he was first commissioned to command a rated vessel — that is, a ship too important to be commanded by a mere commander.
Unrated vessels could also in some cases be commanded by post-captains. Being "made post" is portrayed as the most crucial event in an officer's career in both Forester's Hornblower series and O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series.

A junior post-captain would usually command a frigate or a comparable ship, while a senior post-captain (i.t. a full rank captain) would command a ship of the line.

Rank Insignia
After 1795, when they were first introduced on Royal Navy uniforms, the number and position of epaulettes distinguished between commanders and post-captains of various seniorities.
A commander wore a single epaulette on the left shoulder.
A post-captain with less than three years seniority wore a single epaulette on the right shoulder, and a post-captain with three or more years seniority was the same as captain and wore one epaulette on each shoulder from then.
In the O'Brian series, Aubrey "wets the swab" -- that is, he celebrates his promotion to commander (and the acquisition of his "swab" or epaulette) with the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol.

Note that the term was descriptive only: No-one was ever titled "Post-Captain John Smith".

Post-ship was a designation used in the Royal Navy during the age of sail to describe an unrated ship (see rating system of the Royal Navy) which was, for whatever reason, and usually temporarily, commanded by a post-captain instead of a lieutenant or commander. When a post-captain took command of an unrated vessel she would instantly transform from a brig or sloop-of-war to a "post-ship". When the post-captain relinquished command the vessel would transform back to her normal status.

Unlike other uses of the term "ship" during this era, "post-ship" implies nothing on the rig of the vessel.

Main source: Wikipedia

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Information on the "Runner"

Since my Canal Runner has actually become a bit popular, not just in Caledon, and I probably will develop different models in the future, I have decided to create a specific page with notes and images of it.

That way, it is also easier for me to collect the documentation (and for you to find it), than to have it spred out over several blog posts.

The page is enabled for comments, so if you have any reflections, feel free to post them there!

Adress of the page is:

Saturday, 22 September 2007

You don't have to be a pirate...

Most of us have to admit it. Flying the black and white flag, with any version of skulls, crossbones, etc is a special feeling.

But you don't actually have to be a pirate to hoist the dreaded flag of the past.
One nations hero was another country's pirate, a truth still alive and kicking today (may have to substitute it for terrorist, insurgent, or any other term, though).

Also, sometimes military ships were using it to either scare the enemy, or to show that no quarter was expected, nor given.

The British Navy has a tradition to fly a Jolly Roger when returning to port when a submarine made a kill at sea. The Jolly Roger would have "x"s for every kill they made.

Friday, 21 September 2007

The SPD Brig: Rigging

Rigging is the arrangement of sails on a ship. Basically there are two kinds, "square-rigged", where the sails and spars (on a mast you have the wooden beams to which the sails are fastened. These are called spars), go in the direction left - right, and "fore-and-aft", where they go front-back (like most sailing yachts today).

The SPD Brigantine is actually more similar to a brig than a brigantine in it's rigging. Of course there were a lot of variantions, more or less from ship to ship, but in general, a brig has two masts, both square rigged, whereas a brigantine also has two masts, but a square rigged foremast and a fore-and-aft rigged mainmast.

For comparison, you can compare the brigantine Irving Johnson to the brig Lady Washington. The rigging on the SPD Brig is nearly identical with the latter.

Here are the names of the individual sails on this magnificient ship:

Above the main topgallant sail was occasionally a very small sail, called the royal.
The Boommainsail could sometimes be called the gaff, but in my opinion, the former is more correct. Especially since that is the most important sail on the SPD Brig (basically the one doing most of the job).
The "wings" rigged fore-and-aft (sails E & F) are called studding sails, and named after the sails to which they are fastened.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Caledon Seaways: The Passages North-South

This is an update of the Caledon seaways, focusing on the three routes from Firth of Caledon to SteamSkyCity, which is the gateway to the southern Duchies.

Eastern Route

E1. Caledon Mayfair 27,253,21 - Circumnavigating Mayfair on the northern and easter edges, the passage is blocked here, pretty much for all traffic, but for perhaps a narrow submergible.

E2. Caledon Mayfair 47,199,21 - A bridge is blocking here. However, it is scripted, though I don't know what the script does. The design of the bridge makes it suitable for Takos in Phantom mode, however.

E3. Caledon Mayfair 255,244,21 - The NE Mayfair corner is narrow but doable by smaller boats

E4. Caledon Mayfair 227,214,21 - A rather heavy bridge blocks this route. Again, however, with a Tako in Phantom mode, it should work

E5. Caledon Mayfair 255,137,21 - Docks here making it a narrow passage. I couldn't measure the exact width, since objects are not allowed to be created here. I would judge it to approx 3.5m, though

E6. Caledon Mayfair 252,45,21 - A house seems to be under construction. There is a low passage, wide enough, but free height is barely 3.5m

E7. Caledon Carntaigh 201,37,21 - The Carntaigh Railway/road bridges are still here, of course. But by taking the Carntaigh route, rather than the Mayfair, you only have to negotiate one bridge.

Caledon Primverness 230,233,22 - In the NE corner of Primverness, my mini-map went black, and I witnessed these rocks out in the sea. I can't remember seeing them before. A mirage? Too much grog yesterday?

E8. Caledon Primverness 2,6,21 - I am very curious to know if someone else is able to make it round the "Cap Desmond" in another kind of vessel (I have only done it in the Canal Runner). It is a very tight corner from Primverness, about half a square metre in VC into Loch Avie.

E9. Caledon Tamrannoch 255,4,14 - The Eastern route is by far the longest one, with several obstacles and a few "hidden" dangers, such as full parcels.

Central Route

C1. The Northern Highland passage, as described yesterday.

C2. Caledon Highlands 58,75,21 - Apart from the passage between the northern cliffs, there are two narrow parts in the Highlands. They are managable for smaller and probably medium sized vessels. The first is a narrow part..

C3. Caledon Highlands 33,34,21 - a bit of a tight turn, but manageable

C4. C5.Caledon 243,60,21 - The two drawbridges the Guvnah provided makes the Central Route otherwise very easy.

Western Route

W1. Port Caledon 4,32,21 - A new unexpected obstacle is a stonepillar under water and not visible. It sits just 5cm under water.

W2. Port Caledon 2,52,21 - The landtongue earlier reported on however is gone, which means that apart from the stonepillar, it's basically a free passage between North and South this way.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Seaway change

Caledon Highlands - It seem like the north-south passage in Caledon Highlands, just south of the entry to the Speirling Isles, has been slightly terraformed.
It used to allow enough space even for a Tako there, but I just tried with the Canal Runner and it wasn't able to make it through. Even though it seems to be able to pass (it is 3.95m wide at the narrowest part), there are some underwater cliffs, making it an effective passage of 2.78m.

I will mark it out on the map I am currently updating.

Posted through Slurlblogger v0.41

Friday, 14 September 2007

Ship types ("historical")

I have presented the SPD class Brigantine earlier in this Log and have planned to go through different types of ships available on the market.

As with all intentions, they sometimes finally come around, though much later than anticipated. Well, I have collected pictures and data on various ships and will hopefully soon be able to compile the data in a more readable format for posting here.

Meanwhile, here are som historical ship types, typically used during "The Golden Age of Piracy". As with many other things, there was not always a consequent terminology, they changed over time, etc.

The rating system of the Royal Navy, a universal system for classifying ships, was first set up in 1677 by the famous Samuel Pepys, at that time Secretary to the Admiralty.

The ships descibed below are some of the more common ones, though naturally, a wild variety of ships were used, especially by pirates and buccaneers.

If you were a pirate:

SLOOP - It was usually rigged for a large fore-and-aft mainsail, but could easily be altered for various sail combinations, the huge bowsprit adding more canvas area for maneuverability.
Having a length of 30 to 60 feet and a top speed of over 10 knots, a crew of 20 to 70 men could easily maneuver this father of today's sailing yacht for quick in-and-out surprise attacks, avoiding broadsides and outrunning pursuit. With the sloop weighing as much as 100 tons and having maybe 15 cannons, its draft was still very shallow at eight feet and allowed it to find refuge in shallower waters far beyond the reach of any warship. This also was the reason that those commissioned to hunt out pirates often chose the sloop to gain access to their hiding spots.

SCHOONERS - Another favorite of the Caribbean and Atlantic pirates was the similarly sized two-masted schooner. With many of the prized features of the sloop such as terrific speed, maneuverability, and gun capacity, this sleek American variant was developed in the 1700's with a narrower hull and a shallower draft of only 5 feet. This meant it could effortlessly take a full load and 75-man crew further inland to hide or to divide the spoils, but diminished hold capacity meant fewer spoils to be had when you arrived.

BRIGANTINE - This shallow-draft, two-mast brigand's ship provided great maneuverability and speed from its various square and fore/aft-rigged sail possibilities. It was valued in the Mediterranean, where its earlier versions sometimes included oars that were better for diminished winds. Longer, heavier, roomier, and better manned than the smaller sloops and schooners, it was usually the first choice for prolonged battles instead of quick hits. A larger cargo area combined with moderate firepower meant the versatile brigantine also saw widespread use as a trade ship.70-80 foot length, 125-150 tons, 100+ men, 12 guns and so on.

If you were a Navy man:

The Navy SNOW became the patrol boat of choice for the British in their campaign against piracy. This 90 ton, 60 foot ship was very much like a brigantine, but offered extra maneuverability with trysails added to the standard square-rig arrangement of her two masts. It was well manned with up to 80 men and had 8 small guns.

The Navy SLOOP was a one-masted pirate hunter only slightly bigger than the snow but bulkier, with 12 guns and an abundance of sail. This 110 ton ship enabled a crew of 70 to give the pirates all they could handle even in calm winds: there were several pairs of oars fit between the gun ports for swift pursuit whenever sails hung limp.

Naval MAN O' WAR - Only the main naval powers of England, Spain, and France could afford a Man O' War to use these 3-masted, square-rig gun ships in any great number during the Golden Age of Piracy. Designed like a galleon but armored for war, the largest could weigh an amazing 3500 tons and have 140 guns. The principal differences in the types and uses for the gun ships stemmed from their weight, size, and number of guns, which determined basic maneuverability.

Three Man O'War ship types were:
The SHIP OF THE LINE actually refers to the top three in a six-level description based on size, crew, and firepower, with a 200-foot first class over 2000 tons, 100 or more heavy guns, worked by over 850 men on at least three decks. The massive arsenals of classes one through three were generally reserved for bombarding fortresses, fighting battles of national significance, and other large-scale naval conflicts.

The FRIGATE was a moderately sized, light armored ship with 18 to 40 mid-sized guns on one or two decks and 50 to 200 men. It was much lighter and faster at 300 or more tons over as little as110 feet, so in addition to leading convoys, it saw duty for reconnaissance, patrols, and pirate hunting. While no giant ship of the line, the frigate was still imposing enough to send some pirates scurrying just at the sight.

The CORVETTE was a smaller but powerful two-masted variety with up to 20 guns on one deck. Having the least amount of armor made it swift and agile, but the smaller number of guns meant the fights had to be chosen wisely.

I plan to post more about the six-level ship description used by the Royal Navy.

Main source: Various entries in Wikipedia

Thank you

Cross-posted from Caledon Forums

I would like to thank everyone that in one way or another assisted or participated in the Harvest Festival Maritime events.

A warm and heartfelt thank you to

Otenth Paderborn, Duke of Murdann
Gloire Thibaud, Duchess of Middlesea
Admiral Carricre Wind, Duchess of Caledon Sound
Eva Bellambi, Duchess of Loch Avie
Commodore Oolon Sputnik
Darkling Elytis, Marquise of West Speirling
Kirawill Collingwood, Marquessa of East Speirling
Ms. Chrysocolla Rau
Ms. Hypathia Callisto
Ms. Cornelia Rothschild
Mr. ZenMondo Wormser
Captain AliKuban Koba
Ms. Soleil Snook
Ms. Zoe Connolly
Ms. Eladrienne Laval

All participants & spectators that made this event actually happen!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Caledon Races: Race course

This map shows the course for both the Tako Races and the Three Laps Steamboat Races.
It will also be available on the island of Murdann, near the start.

When reaching the finishline the first and second time, the steamboats must cross the line from east to west, since it funtions as a buoy. Failing this counts as an incomplete lap. And yes, we have functionaries around the buoys. ;)

I did a testrun with the "race version" of my Canal Runner earlier today, just to get an idea of what time we talking about. Of course it was only a testrun, etc, etc, but my time for completing it was 11 minutes and 24 seconds. So calculate between 10 and 12 minutes for the race, I'd say.
This means it is not entirely about who has the most optimal engine, since steering, rounding, chosing course and handling the boat also are factors that enter the equation.

I hope the events will be enjoyable! I will keep
onposting any news or updates here.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Notes on the Steam Boat Races in Caledon the 11th and 12th

Port Caledon 177,208,625 - Some information about the upcoming steamboat races (Harvest Festival event)

The details are not set in stone yet, the skilled Ms. Soleil Snook is helping me drafting the simple rules. They are not to be that many! Considering the ingenuity of Caledon's citiezens, we need some clarifications, like this is a boat race. As in actually travelling, not just one foot in the water while using steam jet engines to travel aetherically or something. ;)

Own builds are not only allowed, but encouraged. Think 'Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines'. No speed limits, though in my own experience, the higher the speed (over 25), the more likely something will go wrong.

The race will start in Caledon Murdann and the rounding buoy is in Caledon Sound. Not only that, but some endurance is demanded, since it is a three lap course

If it works out well, it will become the Caledon Steam Cup, which will take place at regular intervals.
More information will appear here as soon as I have it!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Harvest Festival Update

I just got confirmation from the Duke of Murdann, so the maritime events WILL start at 8:00 pm SLTime in Caledon Murdann.
(See earlier entry for details).


Apart from updates here, I will add details in my calendar, which is publicly available.
Times are SLT, not GMT or my own timezone, to simplify it a bit for everyone.

Harvest Festival Maritime Events

The Steelhead & Caledon Harvest Festival is coming up and I am trying to get together/coordinate events and staff from various timezones.

This is how the schedule I am working on right now is looking.
Mind you, it is only temporary, I hope to get more responses during the day.

* Tuesday, September 11 *

8:00pm SLT
Opening of the Caledon Races by Otenth Paderborn, Duke of Murdann & Caledon Sail & Steam Society

8:30pm SLT
Tako Races, Firth of Caledon (from Caledon Murdann to Caledon Sound and back)

9:30pm SLT
Steamboat 3 Lap Races 'Caledon Cup'

* Wednesday, September 12 *

12:00pm SLT
Naval Battles, Caledon Sound

7:00pm SLT
Tako Races, Firth of Caledon (from Caledon Murdann to Caledon Sound and back)

8:00pm SLT
Steamboat 3 Lap Races 'Caledon Cup'

9:00pm SLT
Naval Battles, Caledon Sound

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Canal Runner 1.2 released!

Finally released the new version of the Runner.

Apart from on sale in Sanchon or Surridge Wharf, Port Caledon, you can find it on OnRez or SLX.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Introducing: Caledon Sail & Steam Society

The CS&SS has just about launched, we have still to draft a charter, create an Insignia (Any volunteers? I suck at graphic design) and so forth.

The purpose of the Society is to further civil maritime matters in Caledon, and include both sailing vessels as well as steam engined ones.
We have some activities planned, but pretty much anything can be addressed in CS&SS; sailing courses, buyer guides and assistance, Tako racing, texturing, etc.

For more information, or if you wish to join, even at this early stage, please contact

Ms. Hypatia Callisto
Lt. Sin Trenton

The Canal Smuggler

This simple yet agile boat originated in the New Babbage canals for smuggling poseballs of dubious nature, landmarks to Broadly Offensive Sims, etc, while escaping the long nose of the law.
It has since become quite popular for the general audience and in response to their needs, been developed further.
The version 1.2, now known as The Canal Runner, will be released shortly.

  • Length: 9.55 m
  • Width: 3.33 m
  • Depth: 0.437 m
  • Height: That of yourself (the boat is lower, unless you are a tiny and it's hard to duck inworld. Even with the right animation, SL registers you as sitting upright).

New in 1.2:

  • Engine sound changed to a more steamengineish
  • Added animated propeller
  • Added water ripples to sides and aft
  • Smoke now turns off when standing up from the boat. The same goes for water riples and propeller
  • Sitscript in bow. Just click Sit on the board front, which means you can now also have a passenger. The boat is still modifyable, so your own poseballs may be added/linked
  • Very simple manual included. Stress simple. It's a simple boat, hence simple manual.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Map over the Caledon Seaways voyage

  1. The bridge and rail in Carntaigh
  2. The narrow passage from Primverness into Loch Avie. Tight, but doable.
  3. A full parcel in Tamrannoch
  4. A small landtongue stretched out all the way into the void ocean
  5. A boat fulfilling much the same role as #4.

Next: The Canal Runner 1.2 (f.k.a. Canal Smuggler), the boat that made the passage.

Caledon Seaways Pt. II

Caledon Sound 134,126,21 - I see two possible obstacles on the map, maybe three. Two are in Kittiwickshire and one in Eyre. We'll see how it goes.

Cdn Kittiwickshire 189,256,21 - Obstacle one was no problem, number 2 however is sticking out into the void seas, and there is no way to navigate around it. I tried but made it halfway.

Caledon Regency 243,72,21 - The north coast of Caledon is very easy to travel, with a good coastal margin. The travel from here down to the Firth should not be too complicated

Caledon Middlesea 1,215,21 - And back out to the open sea. Now I just have to map the circumnavigation of Caledon, marking out the locations from this log.
The map will be posted here in a bit!

Caledon Seaways

Caledon Loch Avie 249,111,21 - I started out in Caledon Sounds, and travelled down to Carntaigh. I didn't expect to be able to pass the tight corner from Primverness to Loch Avie, but it was a success, albeit tight. The bridge in Carntaigh (195,35) is too low for any vessel to pass, so you have to drag your boat there.

Caledon Tamrannoch 255,1,14 - Now travelling along the southern edge of the Caledon continent. The turn around Loch Avie and Moors is absolutely not as tight as the passage from Primverness, but you need to keep a cool head and a firm control over your vessel here as well. Passing from the Moors into Loch Avie is simpler.

Caledon Tamrannoch 255,1,14 - Just had a hit with a full parcel though.. ouch. Be careful when passing Gestalt in Tamrannoch

Caledon SteamSkyCity 101,247,21 - Having a short pause, a pipe and a cuppa tea under Ms Malaprop's lighthouse and the SteamSkyCity before continuing north. Apart from the parcel mishap, so far, so good, touch wood.

Port Caledon 0,49,21 - Unfortunately a land tongue is sticking out all the way into the sea in Port Caledon. It is only about a metre but makes it impossible to pass

Caledon Sound 130,128,22
- Back in Caledon Sound where I started this voyage. Going through maps, and planning the second and final part of the travel around Caledon