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Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 06 Apr 2013, 21:07

Glad to hear that another reader of HNF has come to enjoy this series.

As you've probably learned, Richard Woodman was a 'professional naval officer' before he became an acclaimed and prolific writer of HNF (as well as a reknown writer of British naval history). His description of 'life in naval service' is, for me, the 'Primer' on how it was done from the age of sail right up through naval operations of the current day.

As for Drinkwater and Morris........"hold that thought".
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by jkeffer on Mon 08 Apr 2013, 05:43

I have put An Eye of the Fleet on hold at my local library!
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by jbaltsar on Fri 12 Apr 2013, 18:18

Just finished my next Drinkwater - The Bomb Vessel - and the series is getting better and better. This time Drinkwater is involved in the 1801 bombing of Copenhagen. Again we have the mixture of well researched historic setting and details, naval action and a good amount of personal problems of Nathaniel. His old enemies Morris and Santhonax are absent this time, but we get to know Drinkwaters brother, who is in serious trouble and a venomous purser who tries to profit from some secret knowledge about Drinkwater.

All of this written very entertainingly - will probably move on directly to the next in the series.

Judith

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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 13 Apr 2013, 00:58

Judith -

Glad to hear that the 'Nathaniel's saga' is drawing you in (as it did me).

The 'really good news' is that you still have 10 great books left to enjoy.

Bon Appetite
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by jkeffer on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 00:42

I've just finished my first Drinkwater novel, An Eye of the Fleet, and I really enjoyed it. I have ordered the next in line. Am I imagining it, or was Drinkwater promoted to acting lieutenant at a young age? At any rate, I found myself cheering for the lad early on in the book. I hope he gets to settle his score with Morris!
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 01:13

James -

Undoubtedly, you've read my thoughts and comments on Nathaniel, and I very much enjoy reading the thoughts and comments of others as they read this series for the 1st time. As I've mentioned, I think it's an excellent 'primer' for writing HNF.

As for 'settling his score with Morris'.........."what would you have Nathaniel do?" Read on.
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by jkeffer on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 20:30

I would have him avenge the cold-blooded murder of the seaman (I think his name was Sharples? I've already returned the book to the library) Morris killed right in front of him during the rebel raid!

A question: In An Eye of the Fleet, Drinkwater as a midshipman was rated as a master's mate while he was temporary 2nd officer aboard the other ship. My question is: who has the authority to grant such a rating, and to whom may it be granted?
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by Astrodene on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 22:08

jkeffer wrote:A question: In An Eye of the Fleet, Drinkwater as a midshipman was rated as a master's mate while he was temporary 2nd officer aboard the other ship. My question is: who has the authority to grant such a rating, and to whom may it be granted?
The Captain could grant it and it was common practice to award it to a midshipman who was qualified to fulfil the role if they did not have a seaman ready for promotion. Bear in mind you needed to be literate and mathematical for the navigation so not every seaman had the aptitude and passing the lieutenants exam did not automatically grant you the rank so it gave a passed midshipman a real duty.

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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 22:28

My HNF 'education' says that the Captain is the final authority on issuing 'ratings' aboard his ship. The ships 'standing officers' are normally assigned by the Admiralty and/or the 'boards' that grant 'warrants' to them (gunner, carpenter, bosun, master,etc.). However, during the 'commission' (cruise) if one of these 'standing officers' is lost to death, injury or discipline, then the Captain is authorized to assign a member of the ships crew to replace that person until a 'warranted' replacement is available/found/assigned. Usually, this 'replacement' is drawn from amongst the original warrant's 'mates'. If the Captain 'temporarily assigns' someone to a higher position (gunner's mate to gunner) and forwards a 'recommendation' that the person be confirmed in the 'higher position', that person must pass examination, as soon as available to do so, and thereby be officially 'warranted' to that position. Or the Admiralty/board/or CinC can assign another 'warranted' officer to fill that position from existing resources and at that time, the 'temporary' warrant given by the Captain is removed an that person returns to his former position (ie; gunner's mate). This is the procedure(s) used for the assignment of "non-commissioned officers".

Midshipmen while considered gentlemen in training are neither 'commissioned officers' nor 'warranted officers' nor 'rated seamen'. Therefore, for 'gross breach of discipline' the Captain has the authority to 'turn them before the mast' (ie; 'rate them as a seamen') and send them forward to live and work with the other seamen.

Conversely, the Captain has the authority to move a midshipman 'aft' (ie; towards 'officer country') by promoting him to 'master's mate' (usually with the concurrance of the 'Master' and the 1st Lieutenant) or even to temporary lieutenant (this usually comes with the death, serious injury, or severe discipline of an existing 'commissioned' lieutenant of the ship's company). However, this temorary promotion to lieutenant [b],must be confirmed by a promotion board, the CinC or the Admiralty to be considered 'a permanent promotion'.

The 'route' to commissioned officer can be traveled by several roads. The most usual road being from midshipman with 6 years 'sea time' (at least on the books) by then being given the Captain's recommendation to 'meet the promotion board' and then 'if successful' being available to fill an 'offered vacancy' as a junior lieutenant in the fleet (you could be the only lieutenant aboard if the ship is small enough......save the Captain, who might be a lieutenant as well). Another 'road' from midshipman to lieutenant can be to be 'rated' as a Master's mate while acquiring part of your 'sea time' while awaiting the Captain's recommendation to 'meet the promotion board'.

Both 'temporary lieutenant' and 'master's mate' are considered positions of increased responsibility and should be looked upon 'favorably' by a promotion board deciding who is worthy of promotion to 'permanent lieutenant'.

That's the best answer I can give to your question. If I've missed anything pertinent, "Shipmates, please add your corrections and additions."
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by jkeffer on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 04:17

But being rated as master's mate would not be a prerequisite to being commissioned a lieutenant, would it? If not, would a lieutenant be required to earn such a rating soon after his commissioning?
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 06:18

No being a 'master's mate' is not a requirement to become a commissioned lieutenant. Rather it is one of two paths to becoming a commissioned lieutenant. As Astrodene has mentioned, a seaman could be selected by the Captain to be a master's mate (assuming he possessed math and writing skills which would allow him to become proficient at navigation and log keeping) and if he performed those duties well, could be "put forth" by the Captain's recommendation to 'meet the board' and pass for lieutenant. A seaman that took this path from 'the focsile' (or 'forard') to the commissioned rank of lieutenant (and beyond) is referred to as "coming aft through the hawser-hole".

Whereas, the midshipman has three paths to lieutenant. To meet the board directly from the position of midshipman or to be assigned as a "temporary" lieutenant and to meet the board while holding that "temporary" position or having held it sometime in the past or to move from midshipman to 'master's mate' and then to meet the board and (hopefully) pass for lieutenant.

A midshipman or master's mate who had "passed" for lieutenant (but was not yet 'assigned' as a lieutenant) could hold the position of master's mate until 'promoted' to lieutenant.......... however, this is not a requirement.
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by jkeffer on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 04:30

Thanks. Now, on to question #2!

A newly confirmed Master and Commander is taking command of a sloop of war in the Carribean, circa 1821. He has some prize money available to him. What sort of victuals would he bring aboard for his personal stores?
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 05:10

Assuming that his 'new command' in already in the Caribbean and is a sloop of war, his likely 'mission' would have his ship 'making port' on a reasonably 'regular' basis. Therefore, he'd be buying off the 'local economy' and replenishing his personal stores on that same 'regular basis'. Meats (live, cured, or freshly slaughtered with chickens providing eggs and goats to provide milk until slaughtered), vegetables, fruits, nuts, breads (or flour for making it) jams, butter, coffee and tea, all these might be products grown or produced in the Caribbean area. However, wines and cheeses might well have been 'imported' from Europe and would be purchased from island merchants (at considerable price if of a good quality). Cigars and smoking tobacco of the best quality were available from several islands including Cuba.

However, there were Captains who lived an almost 'monastic' life and supplemented the normal 'ships fare' very little. Dispite 'Jervie's' sentiments about 'married officers', there were many who had multiple 'family obligations'.
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by Astrodene on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 09:18

Off Topic This is getting much to far off topic

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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 18:22

James -

I totally agree with Astrodene and it's my error for answering here. Let's take this 'on going' discussion to either the 'Wardroom' or even better to the 'Naval Chronicle' under 'research requests'. Or we can do them by PM if you wish my response.
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by jkeffer on Thu 25 Apr 2013, 15:37

Apologies.

Back on topic, I have started the second book in the Drinkwater series, A King's Cutter. Report to follow!
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Wed 09 Oct 2013, 17:44

For those of you inveterate HNF 'trivia junkies' who remember when an HNF 'protagonist' from one series shows up (or is mentioned in passing) in another series:
Spoiler:
In Jay Worrell's latest Edgemont series novel A Sea unto Itself, we find Captain Charles Edgemont on Admiralty orders arriving at the Southern terminus to the Red Sea where he encounters not only Nathaniel Drinkwater as first lieutenant aboard HMS Hellebore, but several other characters  and ships from Richard Woodman's 3rd novel in the Nathaniel Drinkwater series A Brig of War as well as a portion of the 'military scenario' common to both 'yarns'.  In my memory, this is the most significant 'crossing of yarns' that I'm able to remember.


Last edited by Astrodene on Wed 09 Oct 2013, 21:52; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : astrodene insert spoiler)
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by Astrodene on Wed 09 Oct 2013, 21:54

For those of us yet to read Jay Worrall's 3rd book, I think that information should have been within a spoilerModerating

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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by 80 Winters on Thu 10 Oct 2013, 00:54

Spoiler:
While I found it "the most significant crossing of yarns", I did not find it "significant to the story being told"
.

Therefore, I chose not to use a spoiler. If I am in error, then you are correct, Sir
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Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

Post by Astrodene on Thu 10 Oct 2013, 03:26

It may not be significant to the story being told but it sparked your interest enough to comment on it and discovering those sort of things, not on the blurb, is part of the enjoyment of reading the book. It's like watching the sort of film like James Bond where it's all serious and shooting but you get those funny bits such as the submarine car leaving the water and a fish is thrown out. It's not nearly as funny when you watch the rerun and know it's coming. It's better to err on the side of more spoilers.

It will matter to some readers and personally I would have enjoyed discovering it for myself. Now back on topic.

It is probably worth adding to this thread historicnavalfiction.net/t1192-did-they-ever-meet

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