McHale’s Steve’s Navy.
was it capt. morgan or was he one of those whose rum wasn’t confiscated.
1.26 gallons per day, for half a year?
My god, what a way to go.
Who needed shot? Just breath on your opponent.
Or light a match and blow.
I’m assuming that when you go to pick a fight with an Englishman, it’s wise to be stinking drunk.
Just ask the Irish.
Plus if you are wounded you can’t feel it. What a country! I am laughing my head off!
“In the Navy, you can sail the seven seas,
In the Navy, you can get just as drunk as you please……”
With NO apologies to the Village People…it was a crappy song to begin with..
Forgive me for this, but…
Actually, on a more serious note (and not to take away from the humor of the post), the Constitution probably refilled its water casks at least twice during the cruise. It was relatively easy to get water at inlets along almost any coast, and without the facilities to store purified water, it generally would go bad after just a few months in cask. (Bad as in filled with living green things and totally undrinkable.)
As a result, ships of the time would store as much water as they could, but would expect to refill several times and never carried enough water for their full voyage. Sometimes, too, if they were desparate for water and nowhere near landfall, they would use the rain to wash the tar and other contaminants out of a sail, then use that sail to collect water. I think the water ration under full supplies was something like 6 quarts per person per day; they worked hard and sweated out a lot of liquid.
Also, the English ships of the time were similarly provisioned, substituting arrack or small beer for some of their rum and depending on their station (as were the French, though the French generally shipped more wine and less rum). There is a reason for phrases like “drunk even by naval standards”.
Sure it’s a nice story but based on an error.
Back then spirits were measured in gills not gallons. A gill is 4 fluid ounces. The full calculations are at the above entry at my blog, but this comes out to roughly 1/2 a pint of spirits per man per day. Given that in the 1960′s Royal Navy rum ration was 1/4 pint per man per day the boozing on the USS Constitution doesn’t seem too outrageous. Sorry, the whole story is about someone mistaking gill for gall.
Tim, its for a laugh. The Constitution wasn’t launched until 1797. Unless they had one of those nifty solar powered time traveling doo-hickeys on board, she wasn’t going to take part in the American Revolution.
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