The Duck's Demise

caravel.jpg

The Duck’s Demise

This caravel is a typical example of the type, although the internal arrangement can vary greatly from ship to ship. Its notable features include:

1. Quarterdeck: The quarterdeck is a raised, open deck at the
stern. The ship’s wheel is here, along with a small davit for a
ship’s boat.

2. Foc’s’le Deck: This is a raised, open deck atop the fore-
castle. The caravel mounts a ballista here; the weapon can’t fire
straight ahead because of the foremast. On the starboard side
is the hawsepipe and tackle for the ship’s anchor.

3. Master’s Cabin: The largest and most comfortable cabin
on the ship is still quite cramped by most standards.

4. Wardroom: The captain, officers, and passengers take their
meals here. This room also serves as a drawing room or parlor
for the officers and passengers.

5. Main Deck: This open deck features a catapult and two
large companionways that descend to the lower deck. The
catapult can only be fired to the broadside; it can’t train forward
or aft (a typical problem with large weapons mounted on small,
cluttered ships). The companionways serve as both stairways
(ladders, in nautical parlance) and cargo hatches. Chicken
coops and pens for goats, lambs, or other small livestock often
take up any available space left on the deck.

6. Forecastle: Most of the ship’s crew sleeps here, although in
good weather many crewmembers prefer to sleep on the open
decks. The forecastle holds a dozen cramped bunks.

7. Galley: The ship’s galley is in the forward part of the lower
deck. It has a small stove and shelving for all kinds of foodstuffs.
The ship’s cook and his assistant(s) sleep here.

8. Chain Locker: The ship’s anchor chain is stored here. It passes
through the hawsepipe in the forecastle up to the foc’s’le deck.

9. Lower Deck: This space serves as the first of the caravel’s
cargo holds, as well as the crew’s mess deck. Crewmembers
take their meals sitting on whatever cargo is convenient. If the
ship is heavily laden, this deck might be covered to within a
foot of the overhead, leaving only a single fore-and-aft passage
between the crates, casks, and bundles.

10. Officer’s Cabins: These tiny cabins are the private rooms
of the ship’s officers. Paying passengers usually bump an officer
from his or her cabin to the forecastle.

11. Ship’s Office: All the ship’s paperwork is kept here, in-
cluding cargo manifests, pay records, and the ship’s paychest
(usually in a sturdy, locked chest).

12. Sail Locker: Spare sails, canvas, and sewing gear is stored here,
as well as plenty of lines, hawsers, firewood, and heavy tools.

13. Lower Hold: Most of the ship’s cargo is stowed here, as
well as provisions (including as many casks of fresh water as
will fit). Beneath this lower hold lies a small crawlspace where
heavy ballast stones help to stabilize the ship.

The Duck's Demise

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