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Piloting A " Square Rigger "

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Old 12-08-2008, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.
Posts: 673
Default Piloting A " Square Rigger "

Greetings From The HMS Bounty ,
Today , the 8th. of December , Capt. Chris Rieder ( NOBRA 37 ) and I went on board the replica of the HMS Bounty , in Baton Rouge , and piloted this fine vessel from Baton Rouge to the Grandview Anchorage ( mile 147 , LMR ) . Well , this was certainly a milestone for me to pilot a " Square Rigger " on the Lower Mississippi River and to say the least it was certainly a unique and exciting adventure for me . After thirty-five years of piloting steamboats , towboats , ships , ferries , crewboats and now a " Square Rigger " , I am pleased to say that for the most part , I have done it all , in the realm of piloting . Personally , I firmly believe that this experience of piloting a
" Square Rigger " was in actuality a very humbling experience for me from the standpoint , I now fully understand just what it must have been like for those " ancient mariners " and navigators to man and navigate a relative tiny wooden vessel , in all weathers , in all types of seas , both day and night in a very harsh and unforgiving marine environment with only the very basic of navigating equiptment . On this ship there was no bridge or pilot house , there was no air conditioning , there was no heat , there was no cover or inclosure , there was no other helmsman , there was no mechanical or electrical or hydrolic steering mechinism , there was only me , a wooden pilot wheel with a rope and pulley system connected to a wooden rudder . The good ship Bounty did steer relative well when the wind was not blowing her topsails , when the current was not running aganist us , when the traffic was absent , and when the wind and sun was not blinding your vision . In all honesty , at no time in my career did my imagination ever come close to what these early mariners had to deal with as they circumnavigated the globe , discovered the New World and made history . Also , in my opinion , any one that would care to make a career in the marine industry , should first experience this type of sailing vessel and under these conditions , before they move up to a modern day and high tech and creature comfort loaded ship or towboat as we have today . Futhermore, any one that does witness and experience these conditions will certainly have a whole new and total appreciation of our marine ancestors and just what they had to endure to just survive . Just food for thought folks .
Smooth Sailing ( literally ! )
Ted Davisson
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