The Gun Deck of a Ship

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 5: Cleaning the Southern Moor; Pgs. 120-124

.     “Come along,” said Adrian when they finished. “We’re done with the prow. Let me show you more of the inside. You still haven’t seen the majority of it, and I have only seen it briefly while I was being tossed about as though in one of the sailor’s hammocks.”
.     Once their eyes adjusted to the dimmer light, they walked down the short hall, past the two cabins. “These are the chaplain’s and doctor’s quarters,” said Adrian as he pointed to the cabins. Past the front doors of the cabins, they walked around the stretched-out hammocks, a little further aft but still under the forecastle. The pole of the foremast was near the center of this area. Shafts of sunlight came down through open shutters above, though dimmer below the forecastle than in it, and a dim yellow light spread out from two lit lamps. It gave a slight glisten to the floor that had just been cleaned. No one was currently in any of the hammocks, though several chests aligned the walls where the sailors kept their belongings.
.     “We’re under the forecastle here,” said Adrian, “near the bows and in the belly of the ship. Yet there are more levels below us. This is called the gun deck, and as we begin to move aft, you’ll see why.”
.     Adrianna looked up warily. “Is it safe?” she whispered.
.     “Oh, yes,” said Adrian, “just wait until we’re under the waterline.” He looked keen. “Then you’ll really feel the weight of the ship above you. We’re as good as in the open air here.”
.     An open doorway at the end of the rest of the hammocks led further aft, and through this threshold Adrianna found the room to open up and expand widely from port and starboard. Many a sailor and soldier were about. They ran into Dick just past the doorway. His rusty red hair was slightly askew, and he nodded a brief acknowledgment.
.     “Isn’t the quiet nice?” Dick asked. “I fancied I was pretty near deaf when I woke up this morning without the cracking and snapping of the ship. And you might want to stay around to watch this! They’re about to test the cannon.”
.     Down along the vast room that expanded below the main deck, on either side along the walls, could be seen the cannon that were spread out and pointed out of little square holes in the walls, widely and evenly spaced. Shafts of light could be seen beaming in from these holes and dancing on the ceiling. There were eight of these holes, four on each side of the ship, and eight cannon to go with them.
.     “What are those open windows?” asked Adrianna. “I don’t remember seeing them when we were in Plymouth.”
.     “Gun ports,” explained Adrian. “The ports were closed during most of the storm and when we were looking at the ship in Plymouth, but they’ve opened them again now.”
.     The roof was high enough that a grown man could stand on the gun deck, and several shafts of light were also beaming in from open shutters from the main deck above. Several sailors were walking about, some cleaning and others attending to orders given by Mr. Heath, the master gunner. Captain Underwood was down inspecting the deck, looking over the powder kegs (a couple were found to be moist – a great nuisance at sea) and muskets, and he was preparing to observe the cannon reports. The cannon were oiled and checked for operability, and the ramrods were cleaned. They had been hoisted by ropes to stick out of the sides of the gun ports, and the soldiers would fire from one side before loading and firing from the other, allowing two soldiers to each cannon.
.     “Are you ready to load the port side?” Mr. Heath asked the captain.
.     “Yes,” said the captain, and then he shouted, “Load on Port!”
.     “Load on Port!” Mr. Heath echoed the command, for in war, the captain would most likely be above on the quarterdeck, and the master gunner would have to translate the command to his men.
.     The soldiers were quickly loading the cannon with their thick ramrods, and Adrian and Adrianna plugged their ears as the first volley sounded. Loud explosions rumbled in their chests and filled some of the gun deck with smoke, but only for a moment before it flitted through the open shutters and ports and dissipated out at sea.
.     “That was quick,” said Adrian as he saw his father smile approvingly.
.     Mr. Heath had the soldiers run to the other side upon the command to load on starboard, and the cannon was quickly loaded and fired when the captain gave the command, “Fire!” The smell of sulfur filled the air.
.     “It smells awful,” said Adrianna.
.     “Perhaps it just takes getting used to,” said Adrian, “like fireworks. You love the smell of fireworks.”
.     “I don’t think I shall ever get used to it,” said Adrianna. “The cannon powder smells different from fireworks. Shall we go below?”
.     “In a minute,” said Adrian. The soldiers were pulling the muskets out of the magazine and showing them to Mr. Heath for inspection, the captain watching. Sunlight was coming down through the shutters to gleam upon the flintlock muzzles. The smell of the explosions drifted away and soon the swords were pulled out and the blades checked.
.     “Oh, come along,” said Adrianna.
.     “Very well,” said Adrian, “Let’s explore the rest of the ship.”
.     When he and Adrianna walked aft, they could see several powder kegs lashed to the floor against the walls in case of emergency. In the middle of the room was a separate small enclosed closet where the weapons were stored, known as the magazine. Toward the stern of the ship was another set of walled-off doors, each leading to a separate cabin.
.     “That’s where Mr. Allen, Mr. Heath, and Mr. Thrussell sleep,” said Adrian. “And of course, right above them is the bottom floor of the aftercastle, where Mr. Toller and Mr. Northrup sleep. They all have their separate rooms.”

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Discourse with the Gamekeeper – Added Scene

This is for those familiar with my book Treasure on the Southern Moor:

.     Adrianna stepped below the main deck, descending down the ladder that took her to the middle of the gun deck. She would always see Mr. Heath there around that time inspecting the gun ports. Sunlight was filtering through the open holes and shinning on the freshly oiled cannon. Adrian used to always have to walk with her down this way especially after the three week storm. Yet, over the last couple weeks, she had ventured down by herself.
.     Once she stepped below the gun deck down to the supply deck, she was once more reminded of the night, seeming so long ago and yet still fresh in her mind when the loyal crew defended the ship against Mr. Northrup and his men. Most everything had been put back to its original place, but some of the barrels still formed a half barricade just to remind the faithful crew what almost befell them. Adrianna smiled at the molasses barrel.
.     The sounds of the crew members talking above were muted, yet the sounds of the creaking of the ship sounded louder and more threatening. Adrianna shuttered, as she always did, at thinking how it must have sounded for Adrian in the storm, when he would go down to the supply deck to fetch something for the cook or another crew member.
.     Then, lifting the hatch to the cargo deck below, Adrianna descended into darkness, down into the deep of the Southern Moor. She went quickly aft, feeling the ceiling with her fingertips until she caught hold of a lantern, which she promptly lit. Then, she continued her way aft past the pump house and toward the stable door. No matter how long they stayed aboard ship, Adrianna could never get used to the way the walls sloped outward on this deck. There was more ceiling than floor, and it always looked as though the ship would tip over at any moment, though it never did.
.     The stable door was unlocked, but Adrianna always knocked.
.     “Come in, come in!” said a voice from inside, and Adrianna knew it to be the gamekeeper.
.     “Thank you, Mr. Ducks,” said Adrianna. “May I see the ox?”
.     “I suppose you may,” said Jemmy Ducks, “yet remember what I said about getting too attached to it, ma’am. I hardly had the nerve to do my duty the first time I was gamekeeper aboard ship – I became such close friends with the animals.”
.     “I know, and I suppose you’re right,” said Adrianna. “Poor things,” she continued, “stuck down here every day and every night, without any hope of living in fresh sunlight again. Do you think?”
.     “I’m afraid we must eventually,” said Jemmy Ducks. “That is, after all, why they were brought with us, miss – to provide us with a few more square and honest meals, and I suppose the crew does need it.”
.     “But it’s nice to tend them in the meantime,” said Adrianna.
.     Then, in the far distance above them, they could hear the bell toll, and a very faint voice was calling out, “Land ho!”

To learn more about Treasure on the Southern Moor, please visit my bookstore.

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Recent Readings from My Two Published Books

Hello everyone,

So, I’ve shared my main YouTube channel with all of you several times, but I haven’t mentioned much about my audio readings on this blog because I use them for my websites The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor. But I don’t want you to miss all the fun! Here are a few of my audio recordings:

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Bookstore Back Up and Book Release!

First off, the Xulon Press Bookstore is back up! You may purchase my book The Williams House there directly at: http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781498496216&HC_ISBN=

Also. . . .

Treasure on the Southern Moor is finally in print!

You can now buy this book directly from the Xulon Press bookstore as well! http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781545607206&HC_ISBN= I am currently emailing my production team regarding book orders and will be doing a video rundown of my book Treasure on the Southern Moor as soon as I have the printed book in my hands.

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

 

Changing a Link!

Hello everyone! This is to notify all of you that I am changing the URL for my Sample Treasure on the Southern Moor pages. The old link took you to an older version of my book’s sample pages, but now that I have the final typeset manuscript in my hands, I’ve updated the text to its final form. I have also expanded it! Now, instead of only having chapters 1 and 3, you get to read chapters one, three, and four for free! This also means that my old blog post links that give Treasure on the Southern Moor sample pages will not work. Enjoy the updated version!

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Chapter 15 Treasure on the Southern Moor – Ending Series!

Chapter 15, titled The Adventures at Mazagan, brings the faithful crew to the reality that hoards of treasure brings trouble. Yet by the end of this chapter, they still find their venture worthwhile. A single crate stuffed with treasure now remains in their possession, and they find themselves shorthanded in sailing again.

Here are the next videos in my series of reading select chapters of my book Treasure on the Southern Moor. Note that I had to split this video up into two parts because of complications with my video editor. You can find out the latest update regarding this book here. Please also purchase my book The Williams House. Check out more information in my bookstore!

I have decided to end this series with this video. If you want to see if the faithful crew makes it back to Plymouth, and if they have any treasure when they arrive, wait for the book to come out in print! For more information on where I am in production, check out this post.

Back description:
.     The thrill of the sea – the song of the ocean winds – out sails and up anchor! – guided by the compass and stars – as a poet once said, “to the lonely sea and sky”. It is the eighteenth century, and the sailing vessel is the only way to travel the raging seas. The Southern Moor sets sails from England to Africa with a crew of forty-two persons, guided by a captain with his son and daughter, where those of the trusted crew hope to find treasure with only the guidance of a map an old friend of the captain’s had given him and a handful of the treasure itself, brought back from the African shoreline. With the smell of cooking from the galley, you may find them about on the weather decks reefing the sails or lashing down the ship’s boats, or listen to the captain play on his fipple flute with the accompaniment of the cello and violin. Hear the ocean waves lap against the bows, or have cataracts of sea water come flooding over the main deck in the midst of a raging storm.
.     In Plymouth, England, there are those few friends of the captain who wonder if he will ever return. Is the Southern Moor, newly finished vessel and never before tested in the ocean waters, strong enough to sail through storms and cannon fire to reach the warm lands of the African shoreline and make the same journey back? With all of its rectangular sails billowing in the wind, bowsprit brass tip of heather shining in the sunlight, and the polish of the wood shining without a fingerprint to be seen, the Southern Moor leaves the harbor of Sutton Pool to test itself in the ocean and plough the stormy seas. . .

Enjoy the videos!

Final artwork for Treasure on the Southern Moor:

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Chapter 14 of Treasure on the Southern Moor – Sailing/Family Story by Joshua Reynolds

Chapter 14, titled Sailing by the Southern Cross, brings you through the quiet, warm southern waters with the wind in you hair and the stars to guide you. Watch as you enter the journal of the clerk and explore the countryside of an island, and listen to the captain, doctor, and chaplain play their fipple flute, cello, and violin.

Here is the next video in my series of reading select chapters of my book Treasure on the Southern Moor. You can find out the latest update regarding this book here. Please also purchase my book The Williams House. Check out more information in my bookstore!

Back description:
.     The thrill of the sea – the song of the ocean winds – out sails and up anchor! – guided by the compass and stars – as a poet once said, “to the lonely sea and sky”. It is the eighteenth century, and the sailing vessel is the only way to travel the raging seas. The Southern Moor sets sails from England to Africa with a crew of forty-two persons, guided by a captain with his son and daughter, where those of the trusted crew hope to find treasure with only the guidance of a map an old friend of the captain’s had given him and a handful of the treasure itself, brought back from the African shoreline. With the smell of cooking from the galley, you may find them about on the weather decks reefing the sails or lashing down the ship’s boats, or listen to the captain play on his fipple flute with the accompaniment of the cello and violin. Hear the ocean waves lap against the bows, or have cataracts of sea water come flooding over the main deck in the midst of a raging storm.
.     In Plymouth, England, there are those few friends of the captain who wonder if he will ever return. Is the Southern Moor, newly finished vessel and never before tested in the ocean waters, strong enough to sail through storms and cannon fire to reach the warm lands of the African shoreline and make the same journey back? With all of its rectangular sails billowing in the wind, bowsprit brass tip of heather shining in the sunlight, and the polish of the wood shining without a fingerprint to be seen, the Southern Moor leaves the harbor of Sutton Pool to test itself in the ocean and plough the stormy seas. . .

Enjoy the video!

Final artwork for Treasure on the Southern Moor:

 

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

A Delay! Treasure on the Southern Moor will be in Print Soon

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Hello everyone!

The typeset for my book Treasure on the Southern Moor was set incorrectly, and as such I had to submit a Minor Change Form correcting the errors. What does this mean? This means, unfortunately, that the book will not be in print by September 1st. Yet, I submitted the form today and am just waiting to hear back from my publishers. There should be no further glitches from here (if all goes well). Please stay tuned!

Also check out my YouTube channel where I read through many chapters of both my books, Treasure on the Southern Moor and The Williams House. Check out Sample pages of both my books!

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Treasure on the Southern Moor Back description:
.     The thrill of the sea – the song of the ocean winds – out sails and up anchor! – guided by the compass and stars – as a poet once said, “to the lonely sea and sky”. It is the eighteenth century, and the sailing vessel is the only way to travel the raging seas. The Southern Moor sets sails from England to Africa with a crew of forty-two persons, guided by a captain with his son and daughter, where those of the trusted crew hope to find treasure with only the guidance of a map an old friend of the captain’s had given him and a handful of the treasure itself, brought back from the African shoreline. With the smell of cooking from the galley, you may find them about on the weather decks reefing the sails or lashing down the ship’s boats, or listen to the captain play on his fipple flute with the accompaniment of the cello and violin. Hear the ocean waves lap against the bows, or have cataracts of sea water come flooding over the main deck in the midst of a raging storm.
.     In Plymouth, England, there are those few friends of the captain who wonder if he will ever return. Is the Southern Moor, newly finished vessel and never before tested in the ocean waters, strong enough to sail through storms and cannon fire to reach the warm lands of the African shoreline and make the same journey back? With all of its rectangular sails billowing in the wind, bowsprit brass tip of heather shining in the sunlight, and the polish of the wood shining without a fingerprint to be seen, the Southern Moor leaves the harbor of Sutton Pool to test itself in the ocean and plough the stormy seas. . .

 

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!