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Acknowledgements

We are indebted to Peter Barton, a maritime historian who specialised in 18th and 19th Century Teesside and Hartlepool shipping and ship-building, who has done an enormous amount of research on the Countess and has been kind enough to share it all with us

TERMINOLOGY USED IN THE LOG-Information from Peter Barton

TERMINOLOGY USED IN THE LOG - Information from Peter Barton
1854
June 20th - "Downs"-between East Kent Coast and Goodwin Sands
25th - Anchored off Dover. The tide running against the ship being stronger than the wind hence no headway could be made. When the tide turned the ship would continue her voyage.
Aug 5th - Flying fish often landed on deck during darkness. If in sufficient numbers they would be cooked and eaten.
Aug 8th - Crossed the Line ( Equator) between now and the 5th day suggests that the Captain was uncertain of his position.
Aug 24th - “Mizen Gaph Throa Haliards" - Mizzen Gaff Throat Halyards.
Aug 26th - "Repairing the main Rattlings" - Renewing the Ratlines between the shrouds ( or stays) on the mainmast. When climbing the mast the ratlines form the rungs and the shrouds form the side of a ladder, though the main purpose of the shrouds is to support the mast.
"Taring Down" - Greasing to protect the stay
Aug 27th - "First dog watch"- 4pm to 6pm, second dog watch - 6pm to 8pm
Sept 13th - “Coaking” - Corking-sealing the spaces between the planks, probably with Oakum and Stockholm Tar.
Sept 15th - The man at the wheel was in a very exposed position. To prevent him being washed from the wheel by a sea coming aboard he would be lashed to the wheel structure. In bad weather it often required two men to control the wheel.
24th & 25th - “All hands employed”-The full crew employed on this work, including those who should have been off-watch -No overtime paid.
Oct 3rd - “Riging Shearbattons"- Probably a sheerpole - an iron bar bolted across the lower end of the shrouds to stop them twisting and loosening the bottle screws.
Oct 18th - “Carpenter preparing ( Repairing? )Boat Thoules"-Thole pins to hold the oar in position for rowing.
Oct 21st - “Wench"-Winch or windlass ready for anchoring.
Dec 16th - “Larboard”-Left or port side.

1855
Jan 5th - "Cleaning the Gypseys”- Part of the anchor winch/windlass that holds the links of chain as they come aboard when raising the anchor.
Jan 9th - “Serving melets"-serving mallets.
Jan 12th - Crew using the mallets made on Jan 9th- covering splices in the lower part of the shrouds with Burlap or rag and spunyarn
Feb 9th - “Cast the Lead”-checking the depth of the water ( 1 fathom = 6 ft)
Apr 10th - “Carpenter making a grait"-a grating for the wheelman to stand on.
Apr 13th - ”Steering S by W and nothing to leeward"- The ship must not be allowed to move to leeward of S by W.
Apr 28th - "Straits of Sunday"- Straits of Sunda.
- "Angey”- Anjer
May 17th - "Ships weak"-ship's wake
May 21st - "Starboard clue ( clew? ) of the main topsail"- Bottom right hand corner
May 24th - ”AIl hands to double reef fore and main topsail"- The job had to be done quickly so everyone ( incl those asleep and John Harrison ) called to assist.
June 15th - "Unbent the mainsail..."-Sailing ships usually carried a number of old sails used in tropical regions. This was the start of changing the newer, heavier sails for the older ones
July 6th - “Cutwater"-The stem below the figurehead. The start of cleaning the ship so she looks her best when she arrives in London.
July 29th - "Western Islands"- Ushant
Aug 4th - "Soundings at 75 fathoms a white sandy bottom"- Ships charts would show depth of water and type of bottom so indicating an approx position. The sounding lead had a cavity in its base into which tallow was put ( "arming the lead" ). Sand, gravel etc would stick to the tallow and could be brought up for inspection.
- "Shadwell basin"- London Docks.