No it bloody isn’t

The Clotilda was a slave ship similar to the one on the left”

 

Nonsense. Bugger all chance that something rigged like that did a fast passage of the Atlantic in 1860. To say nothing of running the trading blockade off the African coast.

The BBC has amended the image to this:

That looks rather more believable.

23 comments on “No it bloody isn’t

  1. Tim’s correct. according to Wiki Clotilda was a two-masted schooner, 86 feet (26 m) long.

  2. D’ye think that that there slave ship of the 1840s was a North African slaver bound for the Barbary Coast?

  3. No mention of the British Navy spending decades and legions of manpower and chests of revenue patrolling the African coast capturing slave traders and liberating slaves.

  4. Also that boat – with the exception of the stern – looks suspiciously Arabic in the way it’s rigged.

  5. I’ve read somewhere that the Royal Navy was still intercepting slavers in the *19*20s off East Africa

  6. Good luck sailing that across the Atlantic. One fucking huge sail – what happens when the wind starts blowing properly – that sail will disappear into the distance, maybe taking the mast with it.

    That looks like something that would sail around the coasts of North Africa or the Red Sea.

  7. The boat in question is a junk rig. The reason you wouldn’t want to sail it across the Atlantic is that they are very good going across or down wind. They are useless in to the wind, which you would most likely be doing trying to get your cargo across the Atlantic quickly.

    The other big advantage of the junk rig is that they are very easy to reef (shorten the sail) in a big wind and so don’t need a large crew.

    The traditional boat for sailing in to the wind is the Bermuda rig, the one with 2/3 sails, that you can set at a very close angle of attack to the wind. They are a bitch to reef in a blow and so need a larger crew.

    The junk rig will be much better for sailing up and down the west coast of Africa and could possibly out run a Bermuda rig of similar size.

  8. “efforts to suppress the trade”: a noble effort. But utterly wrong under any conceivable agreed international law, surely?

    The RN were stopping other countries’ legal trade just because a bunch of evangelical Anglicans had got their knickers in a twist on the subject, partly inspired by Quaker objections to the practice. And after a couple of millennia when Christians hadn’t been at all worried about it.

    It’s as if the USA today were to start blockades and invasions of countries where abortion is practised. Intolerable!

  9. About using the wrong illustration: I once saw a picture purporting to be of the American Civil War. In fact they’d used a photo from the Irish Civil War. A confederate sympathiser at work? Or just The Ignorance of Snowflakes?

  10. “The junk rig will be much better for sailing up and down the west coast of Africa “. I don’t see that. On the east coast, sure, where they probably used the monsoon to ensure that they were largely running before the wind. But on the west coast? The wind pattern in the Atlantic would surely usually require quite a bit of tacking into the wind, wouldn’t it?

  11. “dearieme
    May 23, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    About using the wrong illustration: I once saw a picture purporting to be of the American Civil War. In fact they’d used a photo from the Irish Civil War. A confederate sympathiser at work? Or just The Ignorance of Snowflakes?”

    Ignorance coupled with an ‘I don’t care’ attitude from the editors – who are all also Millenials now too.

    For whatever reason all the mid-level and lower people in journalism seem to think that a 30 second Google search is ‘enough research’ and their editors (who are only maybe 5 years older nowadays) agree.

  12. BiND

    The one I’m looking at is remarkably useless. It shows, for instance, no seasonality, so you can’t see how anyone could exploit the monsoon winds. Nor does it show some of the best known historical winds: it doesn’t show, for instance, how the Manila galleons could make their celebrated voyages. What tripe.

    As for the N Atlantic it shows the well-known gyre that let Columbus cross and get back again: that was established by the Portuguese in the 14th and 15th centuries. It shows no winds blowing seasonally N or S along the W African coast, such as presumably would suit the illustrated rig. I don’t know that there aren’t such winds but I have certainly never heard of them.

    Can you give me a link to the map(s) you had in mind?

  13. dearieme,

    I wasn’t disagreeing with you about monsoon sailing, something I know little about so had a look round and found this interesting article. So yes, the junk rig looks like it would be preferable in monsoon winds, well the lighter ones anyway. Not sure I’d want to be out in anything in the stronger ones.

    I was referring to the comment about the Barbary Coast and trade up and down it and in another senior moment got the trade wind arse about face, but the points still stand.

  14. It has a wooden bit at the bottom and a rag bit at the top. Close enough for newspaper work.

  15. BiND

    Thanks for the monsoon link. I’m glad to see that what we were taught at school still holds up.

    I note that Julian of the Uni of Southampton doesn’t know what “infer” means.

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