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.

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