William Brand

The Mercury, 1720 Careening Camp

270 posts in this topic

Welcome to the 1720 careening camp thread for the crew of the Mercury. Here we will discuss the 1720 Mercury Careening Camp itself, starting with the look of the camp, including, but not limited to:

Tents: Canvas tents, sailcloth awnings, lean-tos and other coverings

Camp props: Buckets, casks, bales, oars, rope, hammocks, cannon, etc.

Clothing: Headgear, footware, slops, jackets, belts, bags, and extras.

Weapons: Swords, cutlass, bluderbuss, pistols, muskets and knives.

In the interest of keeping things simple, we shall discuss tents and props and all things which concern the camp itself. Personal weapons and clothing shall be discussed in another thread.

The Mercury is only one of several camp at the Pirates in Paradise festival. Not all of the events or issues of Pirates in Paradise are being dicsussed in this forum, so please read through the other discussion threads on the Pirates in Paradise Forum.

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Most of us have tents. I own a nice canvas wedge tent. Patrick has a great lean-to. A few of us have wall tents. It has been discussed that pitching tents from sails and oars might look more authentic, but having purchased tents already, most of us wish to use them, so it remains for us to make the tents we already own look more like a careening camp.

Let us begin by talking about oars. Oars may be used as tent poles for any one of these tents. Since cost and shipping can be an issue, let us look at home made oar options...

http://www.instantboats.com/oarmaking.htm

http://www.messing-about.com/articles/oars.html

http://bateau2.com/content/view/84/28/

Since we are allowed to set up camp several days before the festival begins, I was wondering how hard it would be to make some crude oars right in Key West. Perhaps have Harry drive a bunch of us to Lowes and pick up the wood to make a few.

Also, there are some people travelling by vehicle who may have access to the tools necessary to make these. Then shipping would not be an issue, provided that they had enough space to transport them.

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I think one of the biggest problems we will have, is that a lot of us are flying in.... So large camp props will present a challange.

We'll have to check with Harry, but some things, such as oars, could be shipped and stored at the Fort, or donated to the fort.... As long as there isn't a problem with space, I don't see any problem with other events at the fort using the props.... hey... they've lent us tent poles the last two years.....

Idealy, in a careening camp, we would have Everything from the ship, storred somewhere..... That's a lot of stuff..... Barrels,, boxes, buckets, Canvas, ropes, extra wood, cargo..... so we are going to have to figure out a way to simulate all (well a lot) of stuff.......(or at least make it look like a lot of stuff.....)

This is more Renn. Farrie.... but what about a rope fence....not to keep tourist out, but to point them towards the front of the camp.... (more like what a picture frame does for a painting...) And some (painted pvc?) poles with banners on them (like the banners outside Pirate Soul) than briefly explain little "snippets" of Pyrate history, and what is going on in the camp. The rope fence and the banners, are small enough for us to deal with, but they would add a sence of "more stuff" to fill in some of the empty space just around the camp....

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Harry has said he'll store anything we need to ship in advance. It just needs to be clearly marked and he would appreciate advance notice so that he can watch for arriving items.

As for filling the camp, here is one easy way to accomplish the look of a lot of stuff. We can take cardboard boxes and pile them up at random heights and cover them all with canvas, so it looks like goods stored under tarps to protect them from the weather. We buy a whole bunch of canvas tarps and ship them to Harry. He leaves them out in the rain and weather until they loose that fresh out of the package look. Then we can use them to cover the boxes. We keep the artificial stuff covered all of the time.

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i have a couple of extra canvas drop cloths that i'll bring to cover stuff and i should be able to bring some rope as well and lanterns and cookware <_<:o

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I spoke with William today about securing some canvas drop cloths. I'll hit the local hardware stores and see what they have and report back to William. I also have some cast iron cookware that can be used for the camp. And, I also have some rather heavy duty line (can' t remember the exact thickness) that could double as anchor line.

I am happy to store as much as I can for all. As we get closer to the event, I can also enlist (or impress!) some folks to build various sizes of boxes that can be used. I do have a number of boxes already constructed that we use for our Civil War event. These would have been ammo crates.

Harry

Fort Taylor.org

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Once Harry has prices at the local Lowes hardware store for canvas, I would like to invite everyone going to PIP to buy a canvas for the event, by sending Harry a check for the purchase price. In this way we can buy some things and have them stored there without transporting them or shipping them.

If some of you can't afford one before PIP, no problem. It would just allow us to have some goods ahead of time.

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I have two canvas tarps down there already. Since I will be camping in Callanish's castle I won't need them for sleeping (the one leaked anyway!). One has some small text spray painted on but if we keep that side down all should be well.

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(the one leaked anyway!)

Inportant Note for anyone using a canvas tarp to sleep under..... You have to pre-wash them in HOT water first..... It causes them to shrink, so they won't leak...... (as Silkie found out :lol: )

I figure we'll have a discussion about how to set-up tarps and simple period shelters in the very near future.......

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Let us begin by talking about oars.  Oars may be used as tent poles for any one of these tents.

The time is 1720 the advent of waterproof glue is about 220 years in the future, about the same time as nylon. Thus, your oar will need to hewn from a single piece of hardwood no smaller then a 2"x6" 12' long. Bigger would be much better. In order not to crack the first time dropped, the grain will need to be straight and tight, with no knots and very little runout, and no short grain in the blade section. Home Depo aint got no such nothin' and if they did it would run ya about 60 or 70 bucks. You will then attack this blank with broad axe, draw knife and spoke shave. Ok, to use modern power tools instead, but no sandpaper. Sandpaper has not been invented yet and will leave a distinctly nonperiod finsh. The final smoothin' must be done with scrapers.

To me this is a long way to go for tent poles. Especialy since I doubt that oars would ever have been used like this. They would be needed for careening the ship.

At high tide the ship would be in about 5' of shark and jelly fish infested water. At low tide we might be high and dry, but not for very long. Nowhere near long enought to scrap off the barnacles and slime, replace any bad planking, and pay all the seams. Much of this work, not to mention tending the anchors ect., would need to be done from the boats. The boats would need their oars. Thus the Oars would not be available for tent pole duty.

One tent with an oar replacin' one of its poles would be OK I guess. But a row of wall tents held up with half a dozen oars each would be just silly.

Also, At this time most things are packed in barrels not boxes. We need dummy barrels under the tarps. Perhaps papper machet? Chicken wire? Sono tubes?

Double Also, Careful not to get acrylic canvas tarps. They will last long enought to be use by Data when he reenacts us reenacting pyrates, but they will never look right.

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Ol Man From the Sea, interesting thoughts on too many oars....

At this time most things are packed in barrels not boxes

Unfortunately, barrels are much harder to come by now... well I can get wine barrels for about $60, but the shipping would be outrageous... I think we're kinda stuck using cardboard boxes covered with tarps as props. A bunch of barrels would be great, but I don't think it will be happening in the near future...That danged reality getting in the way of our reenactment fun... :lol:

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I think it would be acceptable to use modern glued-up oars as long as they were painted to cover the seams. This paint need not be applied to the shaft, just the blade where the seams would be. Multiple coats in several colors, distressed between coats, would lend an air of use as well as helping to cover the seams. Longer is better. Mine last year were six-footers, but it was an emergency situation.

In place of oars, plain lumber could be used as the ship would have had plenty aboard for repairs, may have purchased some from the locals or made some up on the spot.

Barrels...short sections of wire fencing?

Cloth, however, was shipped in nice squareish bales.

Not all of the goods would be off-loaded from the ship. It would have been too time consuming. Also shifting the cargo and cannon to heel the ship over would have assured that it landed with the chosen side up. At any rate "we sold most of the goods yesterday/last week/in Port Royal/we've had a bad cruise" covers any lack of material available. So squareish or roundish, covered with tarps, tons or just a few representative piles will work. It's also where we hide the coolers.

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I should have explained the cardboard boxes better. They are only meant to provide volume. It is anticipated that real casks and objects would be piled around and on top of the canvas covered boxes. I do like the idea of doing keg shaped objects underneath.

No the large bales of cloth will be interesting. I think if we were to bind cloth around large boxes and then surround them with canvas to look like bales we could accomplish the right look.

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How about cracking the oar? Breaking the blade at one of the seams and using them as tent "poles"? Maybe they would keep them around for that use. Besides I like to "distress" stuff anyways.

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I think it would be acceptable to use modern....

Bad thought at this point. We have about 10 months to prepare. As the start of the event looms nye our standards will slip. Indeed our standards will never be higher than we set them now. As we have commited to not turing anybody away, we must seek to have as much of what we need as authentic as possible to offset the unexpected some will bring. In light of this let us start with a glorious vision, lest we end a wreched sight!

:blink: The year is 1720. On a small subtropic isle, the crew of the sloop Mercury, after sleeping off the spending of thier profits at the Feral Cock, is begining the unpleasant business of preparing thier vessle for a more profitable "unpleasant business". As Mercury's hull is in need of Careening, the crew has made camp ashore. The camp looks a bit milatry, with all the tents, weapons, and provisions about. A strange military though, where discipline is not just lacking, but actually scorned. The tents are not uniform, but of all types and sizes, from marquees to cobbeled together bits of spare or recycled canvas and wood that all but defy the discription "tent." Why, one of the wall tents looks to be using pieces of a broken oar for its poles. Also, the tents are not in neat little rows seperated by task and rank, but set haphazardly about the grounds facing this way and that. That the crew is eating at the local pubs, is evident by the lack of a fire and the multitude of paper cups and styrofoam togo boxes tossed about. :blink:

I'll stop at this point as I am sure changes need to be made.

Should we not have drank all our plunder and thus have need to have it piled about?

Should I add a line about all the oars with painted blades, some holding up tents some just holding up trafic to the heads???

Or a line about the stacks of crates and/or barrels under tarps???

should we figure a way to organize an unknown number of different tents? Around a central fire? All in one or two rows? surrounding a large pile of provisions?

Should we have a fire?

Should we have many fires? How many?

I know the paper cups and styrofoam boxes need "togo"

What else??? not small details yet lets set the general look and feel first

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That the crew is eating at the local pubs, is evident by the lack of a fire and the multitude of paper cups and styrofoam togo boxes tossed about

Sounded good untill the last line..... ;)

I don't think the camp needs to be dwarfed by piles of tarped cargo, but we would not have sold off everything... so some tarped goods will act as "set-dressing" .... I know useing "set-dressing" isn't 100% period, but it will set "a Feel" to the camp. If most of us lived closer, or had a huge ammounts of money, we could make everything in camp perfect... Right now we have period shelters, and Pyrates in camp, but we need something to make the camp look like a careening camp, so we will have to "cheat" and use some stuff as "set-dressing" to make it look right (tarping cardboard boxes is a simple solution to part of that problem)

We will have to decide if we want a fire pit in camp.... last year, we didn't bother, but the year befor that we had a fire.... unfortunatly, we also had some latenight reveler who wanted to stoke-up the fire after the pub closed.... :lol:

(I know you were just joking about the multitude of paper cups and styrofoam togo boxes... ;) )

Getting the Careening Camp as period as possible is the goal.... but we also realize that there is still much to be done to get everything right.... That's why we are starting on planning for it now.....Hey... this will only be the third year inside the fort....

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I want a fire pit. I'll tend it, even when people come through at night. I just like a good camp fire.

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Harry had suggested a fire away from the camp. Perhaps nearer the center of the fort.

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I think that if there was a fire pit near the center of the Fort, and one in camp, we wouldn't have to worry about late-night revelers hanging around the camp's fire.... :lol:

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I don't think the camp needs to be dwarfed by piles of tarped cargo, but we would not have sold off everything....

(I know you were just joking about the multitude of paper cups and styrofoam togo boxes... :lol:   )

note "The camp looks a bit military, with all the tents, weapons, and provisions about."

I did not say no boxes and barrels. We could be storin' a bit of contraband as well?

As to the garbage, I was not joking. Everything in and around the camp, intentional or unintentional, open or hidden, will be a part of the story we tell. We must be aware of all we tell, but for now lets get that fire going!

:o The year is 1720. On a small subtropic isle, the crew of the sloop Mercury, after sleeping off the spending of their profits at the Feral Cock, is beginning the unpleasant business of preparing their vessel for a more profitable "unpleasant business". As Mercury's hull is in need of Careening, the crew has made camp ashore. The camp looks a bit military, with all the tents, weapons, and provisions about. A strange military though, where discipline is not just lacking, but actually scorned. The tents are not uniform, but of all types and sizes, from marquees to cobbled together bits of spare or recycled canvas and wood that all but defy the description "tent." Why, one of the wall tents looks to be using pieces of a broken oar for its poles. Also, the tents are not in neat little rows separated by task and rank, but set haphazardly around a small carefully watched cook fire adorned with a cast iron fire set and grill. Men who spend their days aboard floating tinder boxes have a great respect for the danger of a spark, and thus two large buckets of water are at the hand.. A stray ships cat licks clean a Styrofoam togo box it has pulled from a garbage can under a near by tarp. :lol:

So now we need a couple of period buckets, a grate and/or fire set.

We already have silkie's leaky canvas to cover one of Harry's trash cans.

Of course if the fire is away from the tents we don't need the buckets etc., but I like someone (US) being in control of the fire as well as the appearance that at least some of our meals aren't liquid.

Comments? Corrections? Additions? or shall I move on?

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I've got some barrels you can use. They measure about 29" high. Replicas of what black powder would've been stored in. I've got wood crates of varied sizes as well.

You will have a fire pit or two.

Crews... you're doing a great job on making this encampment look as realistic as possible. You tell me what you need and I'll find a way to make it happen.

Don't worry about sending me money. Y'all just worry about getting here. Ship me your chests, weapons and whatever else and I'll store it for you. We (the state/Friends of Fort Taylor) will make the rest happen!

I haven't had a chance to hit the hardware store to check on drop cloths/tarps yet. I've been up to my *&$ in getting my Civil War event organized, which happens in TWO WEEKS!!!!!! Once that's over, I can devote my full attentions to PiP.

Harry

Fort Taylor.org

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Thank you, Harry. I think I speak for all of us when I say that you may wait on all matters concerning PIP until after the Civil War event. Best of luck on that gathering and please share photos of the event when it is over.

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Before I go on with the camp discription, does anyone plan to cook over our fire? I mean something more than smuggled 21 century marshmellows?

Harry,

Thanks! And when you get a chance, about how many is "some" barrels? I understand that we aren't the only ones who will be there and lettin' other crews share in the Forts booty and all, but "some" is awful vague.

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There will be cooking over the fire. I need to save some money.

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Didn't mean to be vague about the number of barrels... I have three (which I agree isn't a large number), but I know there are more in storage and I know of at least two that are in need of repairs.

Harry

Fort Taylor.org

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