New Crew Member!

William Stephen James

In the late hours of an uncommonly mild winter’s evening, a new member of the Capstan Crew was written into the ship’s books. In January, Shara gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy. Tim hardly ever left Shara’s side (he had a hard time leaving to get a bite to eat, and some fresh air, but was eventually coaxed by myself and the Marine), and together they both welcomed a Mr William S. into the world. And though Mr William cannot hand, reef or steer, he is a most welcome addition to our Crew and this family. Tim and I have agreed he must be started on C.S. Forester’s Hornblower as soon as possible!

The whole ordeal was fairly smooth. Without going into too many details, the entire process was without too many surprises or unexpected outcomes, and just an hour or so before midnight, Mr William was born. He is a strapping 9 lbs 13  ozs, and remarkably healthy. Shara is still recovering in hospital, but she is doing quite well, and we will be out in another day to visit and see how she, Tim and William are doing. Exciting times, certainly!

The Crew had been updated a few days ago to reflect William’s impending arrival, but we will have to edit it slightly. We’re still trying to figure out what his position will be (i.e. sailing master, surgeon, purser), but we’ll figure something out. It was suggested he should fulfill the officer’s position, as none of the Capstan Crew carry anything more than a warrant. Perhaps the “Little Admiral”.

exeterThere’s been a few more new developments here at Man the Capstan, save the prodigious arrival of William. First and foremost, those familiar to the site will notice the inclusion of a Merchandise section, which was touched upon briefly on our New Year’s update. As noted in the disclaimer, and in that aforementioned post, Man the Capstan is not a commercial pursuit. The items listed through out merchandise section are all, in some manner or another, used, and have been placed there because they (a) relate to this project in some manner (such as the Officer’s Straight Dress Sword), or (b) because they fit into this historical period, and might help us out paying for some of these reproductions. Right now we’re housing all of our merchandise through the East Indiaman, the Exeter. The Exeter is a figurative, immersive tool that suits the random, unpredictable selection of wares that will be showcased from time to time.

Exeter Sale PicturePerhaps one of the most significant items for sale is our treasured Passage to India, one of the lady’s gowns created by our very talented tailor, Johanna. Tall Ships 2009 is still quite a few months away, and Johanna is already in the middle of a third gown (which uses colours she very greatly adores). She will have finished that well before Tall Ships arrives, and she figures that Passage to India might be an interesting purchase for some re-enactor out there, and perhaps might help us out with the various expenses here at Man the Capstan.

A Tiny HintThere’s been a few more uniform updates, as well! The company we get our military gold lace from is finally getting some more bias and stand from their supplier, which means we can finally finish the Navy uniforms. The first R.N. uniform is missing a good ten metres of lace (detailed work on the back, and the front white lapels). I’ll be sure to cover that in another update I’m planning right now. Another new acquisition that we just purchased is also for the first Royal Navy uniform, and is being shipped from Australia! I’ll keep it surprise for now, but I can assure you it’s spectacular!

The new dress that Johanna is working on will also receive a few updates and posts over the next few months. I believe she is still working on a title, but right now she’s been using Caribbean Spice. That should give you some hints as to the general colouring of the dress. Another one she will be tackling features a lovely array of blues, predominately an aquamarine colour. It will look fantastic, no doubt!

Also, some significant updates on our YouTube Channel! We have eight videos, total. Six Exhibit Insights, one Video Blog and one Event. New exhibit insights include our English dueling pistols, our R.M. sword, and a new series, The Shipwright’s Journals.

Here’s one Exhibit Insight on our distinctive chapeau de bras.

We’ll try to get on here and post a few more substantive updates; I know and understand that most of these are fairly dry in terms of content. Rest assured, there is more on the way! Before I take off for the night, I’ll leave you with a piece of music Johanna and I have been working on. It’s still a work in a progress for the most part, and there will be additional tracks coming of different sea shanties, but we plan to have a good 10-15 songs, perhaps enough to compile into an album! The song is titled Shenandoah, and it’s a very old and classic piece. I am singing the lead, and Johanna is performing the harmonies.

Preliminary Album Cover

Click the play button above (the track is embedded), and let us know what you think!


About Dave

I am a twenty-two year old university student living in Nova Scotia, Canada. I am an avid naval history enthusiast, particularly the Regency/Napoleonic eras. I have a particular interest in the British Royal Navy and other Britannic military orders.

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