Friday, August 22, 2008

Becoming "boat trash"


This summer we finally got the boat in the water. What boat? why, the "Dark and Stormy", the 18th century boat friends of mine have been working on for the last four years. We were very excited to discover the boat does indeed float. Now we just have to figure out how to operate the dang thing. Above, 'Beck' and 'Scotty' help the D&S push off on one of it first few voyages at Lake Galway, NY.

Our crew has worked a long time to get the boat in the water and soon will be taking it to events. We're hoping to have it in the water for Plattsburgh (War of 1812) that will be taking place the second weekend in September. There is talk also of perhaps having the Dark & Stormy at Roger's Island (French & Indian War) in Fort Edward, NY the third weekend in September.

If you decide to come visit us, you'll need to look for us where the Naval camps are, or some tourists are known to refer to us en masse as the "boat people". A pleasant enough phrase, but somewhere along the way reenactors have turned that phrase into "boat trash". Not that they'd expect the public to recognize the term, or even use it when speaking to a tourist, but amongst themselves, the "boat people" are called "boat trash".

What does boat trash look like? We're reenactors, and we look like sailors of the day - and despite the pretty pictures you may have in your head, sailors wore the same clothes day in and out, so they were pretty scruffy. You'll see fellas with britches, also some with "slops" which look somewhat like a split skirt. Most sailors run around in a waistcoat or hunting frock over their shirts, and a variety of caps can be found on any vessel.

Sailors of the day were male - So a couple of us ladies have developed an alter ego so we can become period sailors and part of the crew on the Dark & Stormy. Miz Rebecky has been banished, in her place you find "Beck" a short pleasant fella with white britches and a rough shirt, no shoes with only a scarf protecting his head. Susan has dissapeared as well, but "Scotty" is just as good company. Scotty's got slops to run around in and usually a working mans cap, and it seems like this sailor is also shoeless.

Rumor has it some other new fellas will be found in our camp; the more the merrier. After all, The Dark & Stormy is still being finished - We have no mast nor sail yet. Therefore the more sailors, the faster we can row that bateau along to line up our cannon and take a shot at the enemy. Below, the Dark & Stormy's first trip out with full crew


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