Passenger & Crew Quarters & Tall Ship Rigging
Diagram: Air Freshener
This rigging example is barque rigging, the same as the Ashmores. There were also barque fully rigged ships, these had the same three masts, but the mizzen mast at the back also had square sails, not the spanker you see here. In between the masts you can see jibs, the triangle sails. The jibboom is the beam out front made from two sturdy and long tree trunks. The jibboom was what anchored the entire rigging down. If it broke, as it did during the Ashmore's journey, the entire rigging could fall apart. In 1882, sailing ships were rarely lucky enough to survive. So what happened to the Ashmore? How did it survive? Read on, dear reader.
Image: Trip Advisor
Crew berths either had bunks with mattresses made from straw, or they slept in hammocks. A trifle difficult if you were over six feet tall, or wide in the beam, as they say. You could fit more sailors in a small space with hammocks because they could hang two or three high and have them close together. The smell in the crew's cabin was legendary because sailors rarely bathed at sea, yet another superstition, like having a priest on board or painting or wearing anything green. It was a sure sign the ship would run aground.
On the right of the image is the table hanging from the roof so it didn't rock with the motion of the ship. Most tables in the mess, even today, have lips around the edge to stop the food slipping off and onto the floor. Although few hang from the roof.
Saloon cabins were for the captain, high ranking crew members and first class passengers only. The Ashmore's saloon was built under the poop deck where the bridge was stationed. (That's where the wheel is or the helm). The captain's cabin was at the very end of the Ashmore saloon, also known as the aft. The first class cabins were on either side along the saloon walls. The doctor shared one of these with the Parson Thompson, who was regularly seasick. The doctor wrote about the parson in his diary almost every day and mentioned the man of the cloth frequently aimed and missed his spittoon he left on the floor each night, splattering the doc on its way down. They did not get along. The parson also sniffed and snorted a lot which put the doctor off his food. He was made to sit next to him at the table every meal, much to the doctor's peeve.
The second class cabins on the Ashmore were in the forecastle. The deck at the bow of the ship. It was longer than most ships her size, because the Ashmore was built as a passenger ship. In the forecastle was also the galley (kitchen), the infirmary (two-bed hospital) and the crew quarters. This is also where they ate their meals.
This is similar to the steerage cabin on the Ashmore, except the Ashmore had tables hung down the middle by rope. It wasn't only their sleeping quarters, but where they ate three meals a day. With 121 passengers all squeezed into the long thin cabin one deck below, you can imagine what the conditions were like. Especially when items weren't stowed away before a storm. Spittoons filled with regurgitated food flew around and pencils inflicted bodily harm as they stabbed or gouged the skin. Men's wet boots were heavy enough when thrown across the cabin, often dangerous enough to knock a woman or a child out cold. Cleaning up the mess and drying everything out after a sudden squall, took up to a week, with mattresses carried up on deck to dry. The steerage passengers washed and scrubbed their soiled items with cold sea-water. The first and second class had stewards to look after that chore.
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