Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HMS Bounty

Arriving from Canada, HMS Bounty will be at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard for yard work from October 18-31. Stop by the shipyard parking lot and you can see HMS Bounty on the large railway in her glorious splendor.
The last time HMS Bounty was in Boothbay was August 2007 when it was launched from the large rail here at the shipyard after extensive work on the fastenings, keel, planking, deck, and framing. Since then, HMS Bounty has traveled to locations such as: Tahiti, Scotland, England etc.

HMS Bounty's Figurehead
From the earliest times the stems of vessels have been decorated with some form of figurehead.
HMS Bounty was originally a merchant ship called the Bethia.
The female figurehead on HMS Bounty is called Bethia, after the name of the original sailing ship. Normally of a buxom shape, with few clothes, the figurehead of a ship was believed to bring luck. It was important for illiterate sailors to recognize their ship and each figurehead was unique.

Bethia is much more covered than most, with a full, modest dress, and even a hat. This is an authentic replica of the original Bounty figurehead, which Captain Bligh described in his journal as, “a handsome woman in a riding habit, well carved.” The figurehead, Bethia is said to be dressed in her riding habit so that her dress would not get wet when she sails over the seas.
Compare Bethia to the figureheads below.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MF Shallop Project

Yes, I said Shallop, not Scallop. What is a shallop? In the 1600’s, the word “shallop” referred to an open wooden workboat such as a barge, dory or rowboat. Shallops were small enough to row but also had one or two sails. The shallop is a European-style boat of approximately 18 feet in length that can be outfitted to row or sail.

The Shallop Project has been a fabulous way to combine new technology and old.
Maine's First Ship began a project connecting community volunteers, fourteen high school students, a science teacher, a shipwright and a media specialist in a two- month project to build a shallop tender that could serve Virginia, the first ship built in Maine by English colonists in 1607, when it is reconstructed.

The students are not only building a boat, but they are learning about filmmaking, blogging, journaling, marketing and public speaking.

The student boat builders are translating the design from paper to wood, figuring angles, cutting and fitting the various pieces to make the boat's framework. Eight oars are also being hand crafted to go with the boat.

Virginia was the first ship built in Maine and believed to be the first ship built by Europeans in the New World. The "Shallop Project" is an initial step towards the goal of reconstructing the Virginia itself,

Students have learned boat building vocabulary and construction skills. In addition, they have developed important skills of teamwork, productive work habits and media skills such as videography, photography and video editing on laptop computers from the MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative). This project was written up in Edutopia, the George Lucas Foundation magazine, one of the most prominent, innovative educational non-profits in the country.

Help support future shipbuilders in Maine. You are invited to the launching in Bath, Maine on Saturday, October 9, at 2:00 at the grey freight shed on Commercial St.