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Aboard Surprise, 20th January 1811

Mar. 28th, 2006 | 11:10 am
posted by: vj_aubrey in vj_isles

Jack Aubrey had stepped aboard his ship with clenched teeth earlier in the day, though the pain in his ankle had gotten less thanks to Stephen's particular care, and he was determined not to let it get in the way of his duty.
He had taken over command of the Surprise and the officers had reported to him, some of which he vaguely recognized from other commissions. His first lieutenant was an elderly, red-faced, cheerful man called Thompson, his second a distant cousin of the former, quite young for his position. Other than that, Jack was glad to see that most of the men were of a decent age, with no squeakers aboard and a fairly small amount of landsmen. Good. He could hardly hope for more on such short notice, but then again, that was always the way.
Upon receiving a change in his orders, Jack had tolerated no further delay in going aboard, and he had done all that was in his power to do to man the ship with at least enough hands to get her to the Mediterranean, where hopefully more men could be pressed. Of course, he greatly disliked a crew made up of pressed men, and some, like Bonden, Killick and of course Stephen, had followed him into this command as they always did, so that more than half the men were there of their own free will. All in all it wasn't a potentially mutinous crew, and one that could become efficient, in time.

He now stood aboard the quarterdeck, observing the last preparations before the ship would put to sea on the tail of the ebb. He could see Sophie and the children, waving, and he believed little George was crying. He smiled at them, then turned to his first lieutenant behind him.

"Let us weigh anchor, Mr Thompson, and lose none of this tide." "Aye, aye, sir." Came the eager reply, and the cry of "All hands to weigh anchor!" followed.

Jack clasped his hands behind his back and glanced to his wife and children, but as soon as deceny would allow he turned his head to look out to sea. It was a perfect day, sunny with a strong breeze, and he hoped to reach his station quite soon. He had not been in the Mediterranean in years, and such memories that were connected to it came flooding back to him - particularly his promotion to commander, the dear sloop Sophie, battles fought under his command, and, of course, the very first days of his friendship with Stephen Maturin, so long ago.

He breathed in deeply as he felt the ship move under his feet (though the one still ached a little) and felt like he had come home again.

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18th December 1810

Jan. 29th, 2006 | 04:16 pm
posted by: vj_elliott in vj_isles

Portsmouth was rarely at its best during the winter months and to Elliott, tired from his journey and never in the most gracious of moods when bad weather was about, it was the pit of Hell. He had wrapped up warmly that morning and was glad of it now; the biting wind whipped at his overcoat and he was forced to the undignified extreme of holding his hat on with one gloved hand. He stamped his feet against the frosty ground and glared at his surroundings. Where the devil was this Captain Harvey?

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Onboard the Albatross, Portsmouth dockyard

Jan. 16th, 2006 | 04:08 pm
posted by: vj_bush in vj_isles

“For God’s sake, watch that, man! Spithead is enough of a mess already without you adding half our supplies to it.”

“What is this over here? You, come make these cables presentable.”

“And where in God’s name is the bloody purser? I asked for him at a quarter of an hour ago!”

Lieutenant William Bush stalked the deck of the Albatross, bellowing orders at (after the first lieutenant’s arrival aboard only two days before) an already much-abused crew. Oh, he was back in his element, of course, but at this stage – still docked in Portsmouth but with the date of sail quickly descending upon them – there never seemed enough time to do all that needed to be done. He sometimes suspected that the Admiralty timed orders just to produce exactly that effect.

He was lucky, he knew. The ship already had nearly a full complement and merely needed to be supplied, not rigged, leaving him with only a tenth of the work he might have had to do were the ship in need of a complete recommission, but it still had meant steady work since his arrival. It was a process that meant confusion and disorganization and, worst of all in Bush’s mind, an utterly messy deck.

And now the captain was coming aboard. I have the utmost confidence that you will be prepared to receive me, indeed. He had only received the note that morning, and God knew when it had been sent. Not that it would have done much good – Captain Hornblower, damn him (Bush had betrayingly swore under his breath when he first read it), seemed insistent on being as vague as possible on the details of his arrival.

And so on top of the task already at hand, Bush was left trying to make the whole damn place tidy for what might as well have been a surprise visit from his captain.

He continued to pace the deck, snapping and swearing.

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South to Plymouth: 01 January, 1811

Jan. 14th, 2006 | 08:04 pm
mood: amusedamused
posted by: vj_chase in vj_isles

Icy roads aheadCollapse )

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A new command

Jan. 9th, 2006 | 10:11 am
posted by: vj_aubrey in vj_isles

SurpriseCollapse )

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Jan. 5th, 2006 | 12:52 pm
posted by: vj_bush in vj_isles

William Bush was drunkCollapse )

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Portsmouth, 1810

Jan. 5th, 2006 | 03:14 am
posted by: vj_hornblower in vj_isles

Matters settledCollapse )

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Ashgrove Cottage, Hampshire

Jan. 2nd, 2006 | 09:31 pm
posted by: vj_aubrey in vj_isles

PiningCollapse )

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Hazelton Lodge, Somersetshire

Jan. 2nd, 2006 | 02:28 pm
mood: amusedamused
posted by: vj_chase in vj_isles

Ah DomesticityCollapse )

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