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July 19th 1809: Water

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July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Marashar on Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:33 am

When the leak had sprung, it went unnoticed. The freshwater casks had not come loose during the recent storm, nor had one been shattered, and after making sure that all were still securely leashed down, nobody had worried anymore.

But during the movements of the ship, one barrel had taken a hit to a point where the staves were not fitted perfectly, and water started to escape. It had been only a little at the beginning, but in the two days since, the staves had shifted some more, and the water was now running into the shingles in a tiny but steady stream. But that was not the worst - it was also soaking the manila ropes that held the barrels down. As was the nature of these ropes, they started to shrink - putting not only much more pressure on the casks, but also on the knots at the end, which became all but untieable.



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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:42 am

It was one of those days again. He finished with his watch and now he could find a nice quiet place somewhere where he could be alone. The rats would not have bothered him, the dark did not either. As long as there was noone hiding in the dark, he was quite happy to sit and listen to the whine of the ship.

Clambering into the hold, he was feeling his way around, careful not to trip. Nobody had spotted him yet and it was just as well. He wanted to slink off unnoticed and without the danger of Cattling or one of his cronies following suit.

He heard a sharp squeak as something furry ran past him. There was a larger amount of these rats merrily squeaking somewhere among the barrels and this caught his attention. The floors were moist and the ropes felt similarly wet in one place. Odd. It felt as if it was spreading from there.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Marashar on Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:56 am

The ship was changing tack, and as it began to lean to the other side, the ropes in front of DeGuarde groaned. The barrels didn't move at all, but something audibly cracked.
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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:11 am

De Guarde's eyes widened. It wasn't the sound he had wanted to hear. Quickly he began to feel his way around in the direction of the sound and of the squealing rats.

A short while later, when he felt his hand quite wet and tasted it to see that it was not salt water at all and following the ropes felt them even moister her cursed.

There was something quite wrong down here. Though he may not have been an expert in things he had been below frequently enough to be aware of the apparent differences from the usual. And the side of one of the top barrels was not supposed to be wet. Nor was it supposed to make the barrel beneath it wetter while the ones left and right were quite fine.

This was also where the number of rats had squealed and ran off from, though there were a few that dared him to make them move.

He turned on his heel and his previous intention forgotten, scampered out of the hold up a companionway and onward. He needed to find a lieutenant or a midshipman, someone that he could report this to!

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:30 am

------
Mackie stood just outside the gun room, surrounded by the ever-present gloom. He'd had his eyes closed, seeing as hardly no one would see him down here - catching forty winks. He kept one eye open however, just in case anyone were to arrive.

He turned his attention to the usual lively burr of the midshipmen at their leisure. He couldn't exactly make out everything that was said, seeing as he was not quite within earshot, but it made time pass quicker to eavesdrop on their gassing about so and so.

Suddenly, Mackie pricked up into his usual starch upright position as echoing footsteps appeared from what seemed like nowhere. Straining and squinting with his eyes, he attempted to make out the approaching figure...

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:26 am

De Guarde knew seamen were not supposed to be there but he had in his haste forgotten that that did very much include him, and had done so for almost two months. Much had happened in those two months, but nothing that would have changed his predicament.

With haste he intended to pass the sentry and the midshipmen and see whether he could find a lieutenant directly, closer to the hold than if he were to hope head on deck. The marine sentry appeared inattentive and to De Guarde's impression, perhaps asleep? He had not taken a better look of him to see that he was wrong but chose to duck past him, hoping that the man would not even have seen him.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:14 am

"Where ye going?" Mackie called out in his bellowing Scottish accent. He could now see it was De Guarde - the lad who had been disrated from midshipman a few months previously. He knew the boy was up to no good skulking around.

He grunted, almost growled at the boy. "Hae ye forgot yeself, lad?"

Mackie tried to urge the boy to shove off as as sharp and briskly as he could. "Ye don't belong around these parts no more. Scamper off now laddie, afore someone more scary catch ye around!"

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:24 am

De Guarde glared at the marine. While it may have been a few months since he had lost his privileges of passing through there, it was still a fresh wound to his pride and there was nothing worse than to rub salt in it with such words.

" I need to see a lieutenant!" He snapped. He may have attempted to make himself appear bigger, but he was still just a boy, and an insignificant seaman at that.

"Shove off and let me through, It's important!" He added a moment later. With all his bravado he still stopped infront of the marine and stared at him, his head slightly tilted upwards, being the much shorter of the two.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:37 am

"Don't ye speak to me in that tone of voice or ye'll find yourself in more trouble!" Mackie growled this time, like a snarling dog at an intruder.

"What could possibly be so important that ye need to see a lieutenant, besides!?" he exclaimed. "You've not given me an explanation, so I'm not letting ye through. Shove off or I'll remove you meself!"

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:42 am

If the marine had been more pleasant, De Guarde might have told him, but now it was his pride that battled with his common sense and won. "It is for the lieutenant's ears to hear." He said, his tone harsh, though a little more subdued as before. "If you won't let me through, you can as well fetch him yourself!" His hands balled up into fists but remained pressed at his sides.

"And you better be quick about it!" Perhaps the emergency was not as great, but the youth wanted this over with.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:05 am

Mackie sniffed, sounding almost disgusted at being beaten by the boy. Still glaring at De Guarde in contempt, he straightened himself up.

"Having ye horrible little way, then." Mackie blinked and turned, disappearing into the gunroom.


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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:16 am

De Guarde let out a fairly deep breath of relief. He had expected to be sent off. Instead he was for once fortunate and the marine decided for something more sensible. He wondered how long his luck would last and did not want to push it. Hopefully the marine would return with a lieutenant that was in a relatively good mood.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:40 am

"What on earth would De Guarde want with me?" Mowett exclaimed to the waiting sentry, throwing down his tattered sea journal carelessly as he stood up and straightened out his waistcoat.

As he was about to leave, he realized that the room was rather subdued, with a stiff atmosphere that seemed to emanate from the middies. Mowett really didn't have time to take much notice, and followed behind the sentry out into the dark, rather abandoned area just outside the gunroom.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:47 pm

De Guarde waited impatiently. He felt the dread before a superior officer of the ship Terpsichore, return though. He hoped that what he had seen would be a matter important enough that he might not get himself in trouble for raising the alarm.

He began to tug subconsciously at the sleeve of his shirt and upon hearing footsteps that were heavier than those of the middies and most certainly belonged to a pair of men, forced himself to stop. He straightened as far as he could, took a few deep and sharp breaths to calm himself and then waited a little longer.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Marashar on Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:20 am

"Hopefully not more trouble. DeGuard has a certain tendency to attract it."

Lt. Mitchell, sitting at a table liberally littered with star charts, letters, books and discarted attempts at writting a successful refutation to another astronomer's claim, was in an unusually bad mood. Despite his words, he looked rather as if he would welcome the trouble to take him away from his self-appointed task.
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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:21 am

Mackie nearly swore when he stepped outside to find the area seemingly abandoned. "De Guarde!?" he called out. Where's that useless bloody vagabond got to? he almost said, but remembered his manners in front of the lieutenant. "He seems to have scarpered but-" before he could finish he heard what seemed like an accidental scuffle of footsteps in the darkness.

"De Guarde, do not waste the lieutenant's time! Come out now, and be done with it!" Mackie breathed, clenching his right hand into a fist.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:48 am

"Uh.." De Guarde cursed quietly. If only he could turn now and flee, and if only he had abandoned his intentions of goodwill to prevent them from loosing a good portion of their drinking water. Surely somebody would have noticed before it had gotten to the point where things could have become terrible?

He stepped forward again, a few more steps and bit his lip, thrust his hands to his sides yet again - as they've returned to the nervous tugging of one sleeve - and then straightened as stiffly as a board.

"I'm here!"

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Jeremy Mitchell on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:19 am

Inside the wardroom, a long, imaginative and just bordering on rude string of exclamations, concerning two gentlemen, a book, something that was most assuredly not "a new celestial body of hithero unseen splendor" and incongrously a goose (later revealed as the supplier of the lieutenant's writing instrument, though) gave ample proof that even without the disturbance outside the door, Lieutenant Mitchell's scientific work was not progressing to the liking of its author.
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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:51 pm

Mowett scanned the gloom quickly, trying to pinpoint where de Guarde was hiding.

"You're not in trouble, de Guarde. Mackie here told me it seems whatever it was you wanted to tell me was quite important." he suddenly inclined his head slightly at the nervous scuffling coming towards him.

Mowett suddenly pointed into the neverending gloom. "There he is.."

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:19 am

"It was sir. ..there's trouble in the hold." De Guarde answered quickly. "There's been... with the water supply... can you come with me, sir, please? " He dearly hoped he had evaluated the problem well. If he did not, the trouble in the hold would become simply, the trouble with a former midshipman.


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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:11 am

"What do you mean? What's wrong with the water supply?" he stepped forward a fraction.

He swore he could almost feel de Guarde shivering there in front of him. His intention hadn't been to scare the lad. "You're not in any trouble- show me now, there's not a moment to lose," he approached calmly.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:35 am

"Yes, sir." De Guarde answered. He turned and glancing back once to see whether the lieutenant followed him, he began in the direction of the hold and where he had seen the water leaking. His steps were brisk and the direction taken perhaps the shortest he could find, that would bring him to the wet barrels. He meant to point out the one that he had found worst then the ropes that bound them which had become much more taut.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:50 am

"Its too damned dark down here," Mowett commented as he followed de Guarde down into the hold. Hardly anyone ventured into the hold, unless they were up to no good.

Stumbling slightly, he looked ahead to locate de Guarde. "Wait for me." He clambered carefully into the darkest part of the hold where the water was kept.

"Lets see what the butcher's bill is." he sighed peering into the tight space where the barrels were secured.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:50 am

De Guarde felt around for the wet area where he thought the water had been coming from. It was not salty nor in the abundance that would suggest damage to the hull rather than barrels. It was atleast a bit of good news in the whole ordeal.

He called to the officer and once he was next to him motioned to the leaking barrel. The ropes were taut and moist as well. "It's here, sir. Not much yet.. but the ropes feel tighter than usual, sir."

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

Post  William Mowett on Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:51 am

Mowett took his turn to assess the damage. The damaged barrel in question - looked as normal as the others to an untrained eye, but on a closer inspection the damage to the staves was apparent.

The ropes had become taut and hardened on being soaked by the water, and with the motions of the ship, had done more damage.

"Dear me." shaking his head, Mowett inspected the other secured barrels, just in case. The other barrels didn't seem to have sustained any damage, thankfully but the ropes were rather ruined and sodden after constantly absorbing the water over the course of days.

"We must report this, with haste." Mowett frowned, slightly exasperated at the whole business.

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Re: July 19th 1809: Water

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