traditional sailing

@blacksailsstarz, @blacksailsfanart


Thank you, Black Sails.

Thank you for realistic fighting scenes that end in ridiculous all-out brawls

Thank you for relationships with great dynamics that don’t always fit into neat boxes

Thank you for respecting the source material

Thank you for the cursing, violent, horny, irreverent pirates 

Thank you to the cast. Everyone was flawless

Thank you for the special and visual effects

Thank you for the overarching themes 

Thank you for the gratuitous shirtless Charles Vane

Thank you for John Silver and Madi’s love story

Thank you for all those great shots and the gorgeous cinematography

Thank you for a complete story that leaves just enough to the imagination

Thank you for giving us Captain Flint and Long John Silver

Thank you for those rad ship battles where everyone (but mostly Flint) comes up with crazy ideas

Thank you for your portrayal of Thomas and James’ love story

Thank you for Nassau (the brothel looks great) 

Thank you for the jokes and lighter moments

Thank you for being so enthusiastic about your fans and working so hard to make this show even better with each passing episode, for giving us incredible seasons finales, and a show that changed me as a person.

Thank you.

honestly of all the things i am grateful to black sails for, it is making my Extremely Obscure Thesis–about the development of same-sex desires in early modern europe by way of classical reception–somehow, against all odds, startlingly relevant 

ive never written an easier damn historical fic in my life

Memory Lane

Part IV

Part I | Part II  | Part III

“Ace, you damn brat!”

Asce flinches on instinct at the voice, then realises it’s ringing a bell. He’s not sure why, no memories spring to mind. But the deep-rooted sensation of fear that insists he’s in danger must have been well conditioned into his subconscious for a reason. 

Then the fist descends upon his head and he realises why.

Keep reading

running off to sea to seek your fortune: a how-to guide

About seven months ago now I walked down a dock in April and tried to guess which of the three shrinkwrapped schooners docked there was going to be my home for the foreseeable future. Coming out the other side of the season, I’ve got hands like leather, killer biceps, a general familiarity with sailing, two near-death experiences, and in general I’m pretty comfortable wearing a knife around now. This is going to be a quick breakdown of the ups and downs of windjammer life, because I sure as hell had no idea what I was getting into, and if it sounds like an interesting job maybe you can go into it a bit more prepared than I was.

Windjamming - the part of the traditional-rigged sailing industry that deals with tourists, and the focus of the guide. Generally to do anything else with tall ships, like deliveries (moving a ship from point A to Point B, like the Florida Keys to Boston in time for the summer season), you need to have some sailing experience already.  Windjamming can be split into day sailors and longer cruises.

  • Day sailors make 2 to 4 short trips a day, generally in the area of three hours each. The tips are better because you see so many people in such a short time. You’re in port every night, so you’ll always have access to cell service, grocery stores, the bars, etc. You tend to have rainy days off. On the flip side, it’s not always a live-aboard position, so if you’re hoping to be staying on the ship, make sure you ask. You’ll also be feeding yourself out of pocket. The repetitive nature of the trips can be monotonous, and you don’t really have a chance to get to know the guests. Generally smaller boats and smaller crew.
  • Longer Cruises make overnight trips, generally 3-6 days, which means they go further and there’s more variety in where they sail. You get to know the passengers much better, and you really get to see the breadth of weather on the ocean - it’s a much fuller experience in terms of sailing. These are almost always live-aboard positions, so you have a home with no rent to pay. You’ll be fed as well as the passengers are, and even on the days you’re in port, there will be leftovers to eat if you don’t want to spend money - you can save a lot more because virtually nothing has to be spent on the cost of living. On the other hand, you’ll be out of contact for days at a time, and the unending nature of the job - with guests aboard, you’re responsible for their wellbeing even when not actively on duty, which can mean up to six unbroken days of Customer Service Face - means that it can be emotionally a bit overwhelming at times.

Pay varies pretty greatly from one boat to another; for the entry-level position of messmate, I’ve seen anywhere from a pretty generous $400/week to volunteer. Those seem to be the extreme ranges of the spectrum, so anywhere in that ballpark could be expected.

Positions open to you as a total beginner are:

  • Deckhand - a standard sailor. Usually you need a bit of sailing or sailing-adjacent experience, but not always, if you’re strong and quick to learn. Duties tend to include tacking, furling, and reefing sails, cleaning the ship (deck, the toilets, the sides of the hull, etc.), helping passengers up and down the ladders, and similar tasks.
  • Cook or assistant cook - day sailors don’t have this, so if you want to work in the galley you’re going to have to commit to a longer cruise. Planning and preparing all meals, three times a day, for about 30 people. Often includes things like baking your own bread. might be on a wood stove or a propane stove; sometimes the stove swings to stay level and sometimes it has fiddles to keep pots from sliding off, but not always. You’ve got to be an early riser, and good at time management.
  • Messmate: another galley position, but this one is half-way between the galley and the deck - ideally a 3/1 ratio. Cleaning dishes, setting tables, assisting the cook on occasion with meal prep, maybe snacks and things like that, as well as small things on deck like tacking sails. A lot of that is on you, however - go bug deck crew to teach you if that’s where you want to be.

Life on a windjammer/General things to know

  • Pack practically. I really can’t emphasize this enough. You’ll have a few days off but you’re not going to have the energy to get into nice clothes and honestly you’re going to be covered in paint dust/anchor grease/pine tar/whatever the fuck anyway. You really won’t have any use for anything besides working clothes and mayyyyyybe one nice outfit to remind you that there were better days, once. Bring clothes that you can burn at the end of the season, because they’re not going to be wearable in public.
  • Get a pair of work pants - Carharts, Dickies, doesn’t matter - as long as they’re tough as hell and have a lot of pockets. You’re also gonna want to have a leatherman, or ideally a rig knife/marlinspike set (cutting lines, tightening and undoing knots, etc. are things you’ll find yourself doing frequently).
  • Learn how to tie a bowline, a cleat, and a rolling hitch. You can learn everything fancier, but these are the three you’ll be using the most.
  • Just…give up on ever feeling clean. Life is easier that way. You can get a shower and wash laundry on land, but while on board it’s lucky to have hot water, and you’ll still be washing your hair in a swimsuit, on deck, with dish soap. Embrace it, bring deodorant, go swimming in the ocean.
  • Some really weird jobs are going to be given to you. Sailing, cleaning, whatever, all in a day’s work. Rubbing down all seventy feet of the main mast with Vaseline while being belayed down on a swing also covered in Vaseline…a bit out of left field. Windjamming is basically an endless string of crises, so don’t be too thrown when something goes wrong.
  • Ideally you’re reasonably good with heights (if not, avoid ships with topsails) and don’t get motion sickness.  
  • There’s a lot of turnover - people leave all the time for all kinds of reasons, like going back to school in the fall, getting hurt, getting fired, getting overwhelmed and quitting.
  • It’s a gift culture - your crew is what keeps you going, and you share what you have - people with real apartments will offer you a place to sleep and shower. People who’ve done this before will give you things you’re missing. Things like hats and books and jackets get traded and gifted a lot. Over the course of the season I gave away hand cream, a coffee mug, rides to places in my car, drawings - not much, but I didn’t come with much that could be useful. I was given a rig knife, a ceramic bowl, a few books, tea, a ukulele. Share what you have and give away things someone needs and you don’t. 
  • You’re going to meet a lot of weird people. Well-balanced people with 9-5 jobs who are content with their lives and like doing things like ‘leisurely sipping coffee in caffes while it rains outside’ and ‘bathing’ don’t often apply. If this is the kind of job that appeals to you, then it’s likely they’re going to be your kind of people.
  • There’s definitely a drinking culture, but there’s no pressure to join in, in my experience. Everyone is really chill  about whether or not you’re drinking; often the local dive bar is simply the closest warm place to find people and touch base with the other schooner bums. Once in a while someone will buy everyone a pitcher to share, but this is more related to ‘share what you have’ than to ‘everyone must drink’.

That’s it off the top of my head, but please feel free to message me if you have any questions! I can’t promise I’ll have a good answer, but then again I might. Hope this helps!

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu deserves way more love! Kikuhiko is so fabulous it hurts ;u;

“We are taught in our history books today that the inhabitants of the Polynesian triangle were a people of common language, of common ancestry, of great achievements in exploring the earth. Consider the fact that there was no other culture in their time that was ocean-going … deep sea ocean-going. In my opinion, these explorers were the greatest explorers on the earth at the time. If you exclude the total land mass of Aotearoa, there is three hundred times more water than there is land … ten million square miles of ocean. And that is what makes their achievements more amazing. This is geographically the largest "nation” on earth. It’s bigger than Russia. There was adze found in the artifacts on the beaches of Australia that are Polynesian. And also, through the sweet potato, we know that there was contact to the Americas. And just in recent times through the new science of genetics, there is evidence showing that the Native Alaskans, Haida Indians, have Polynesian blood.“ -Nainoa Thompson (Navigator of the Hokulea)

4

Astarte/Ashtoreth

A Grecian version of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar who has been worshiped since the age of bronze. She was known as a being with sway over war and fertility as well as possibly being the morning or evening star. At some point, she may have been merged with an ancient Cypriot goddess to become Aphrodite and figureheads of her are said to have started the tradition of sailing ships having a figure hanging from the front of the ship.

To the Canaanites she was known as Ashtart who was the lover of Ba’al and therefore was the goddess of the moon. When Ba’al attempted to overthrow the river god called Yam, it was Ashtart who restrained him with the help of Anath. When Ba’al killed the god, she cursed him by speaking his true name. Later on, the two were said to have a daughter named Yabarodmay. Some say she was also the goddess called Athirat but this was probably the result of various scribal errors over the centuries.

In very old Hebrew lore, she may have been one of the wives of Solomon whom worshiped her alongside many others. Eventually over time it is possible she was demonized into the male demon Astaroth though this could also have been Ishtar. To Egyptians, she was a consort of Set and one of the daughters of Ra and was sometimes identified as Sekhmet and Isis.

In the old Phoenician religion of the Semitics, she was the daughter of Epigeius and the sister of the supreme god Elus. When Elus overthrew his father, Epigeius sent his three ‘virgin’ daughters, Asherah, Astarte and Ba’al Gebal as a trick. Elus saw through the trick however, and married all three of them. Astarte herself would give Elus seven daughters who were named the same as seven female titans from Greek mythology as well as two sons, Pothos and Eros. Much later, she would become a consort of Hedad and rule over the land with Elus’s permission.

She was depicted as often being naked, and her symbols are the lion, the horse, the sphinx and the dove. An ancient Minoan topless snake goddess who has no name is also believed by some scholars to have been her.

Sorting the Disney Princesses #2: MOANA

For those who are unfamiliar with our system, at @sortinghatchats when we say “Primary” we mean WHY people do things. When we talk about a “Secondary” house we mean HOW they do things. For more description of what we mean for each house, see our basics page here.

As her grandmother’s ghost says, Moana is “a girl from an island who stands apart from the crowd.”

Brave and certain, knowing what she believes and striving to chase after it, Moana is a Gryffindor Primary but her home and family ask her and expect her to be a Hufflepuff Primary– to value first duty, community, tradition, and stability.

The only person who does not tell her the way she is is wrong is her grandmother, who dances with the sea and lets everyone think she’s crazy, who tells Moana that “that voice inside is who you are.”

Moana can fake that Hufflepuff Primary real well– but you can see it doesn’t come intuitively to her. It is something her father painstakingly and patiently taught her in “Where You Are.” Her father tries to teach her about the island, about their people, traditions, and stability– but Moana just keeps running to the sea.

“This tradition is our mission, and, Moana, there’s so much to do!”
- Where You Are

By the end of the song she’s singing her father’s words and story, ready to be who she is supposed to. But this is something learned, and even as she does it she’s looking to the water, to her grandmother dancing, to the horizon.

Around the heart of her, which thirsts and stirs–“it calls me,” she builds a model that looks like the Hufflepuff she’s supposed to be.

"Everybody on this island seems happy on this island… everybody on this island has a role on this island, so maybe I can roll with mine.”
-Moana, How Far I’ll Go

But while Moana seems largely effective in this modeling, she is still unhappy. This is who she is supposed to be, but not who she is, and as a young Gryffindor Primary this hurts.

“I can lead with pride, I can make us strong, I’ll be satisfied if I play along, but the voice inside sings a different song. What is wrong with me?”
-Moana, How Far I’ll Go

But once Moana accepts and begins to act as who she is and not who she is “supposed” to be– taking the boat and setting out to find Maui– her Hufflepuff model becomes not an uncomfortable mask but instead something to rely on.

It is this back-up rigging that catches her when she stumbles– after they face the lava demon Te Ka the first time, are rebuffed, and Maui leaves. Moana’s Gryffindor, the voice inside her heart, falters. She listened to it, believed it, and now she has both failed and been abandoned. Adrift in a starlit sea, she doubts. She loses the certainty that is the cornerstone of this brave young woman.

And what sweeps in to lift her up is twofold: first, her grandmother, who had always been the defender of her Gryffindor– one lone crazy voice in a world that runs on Hufflepuff, the village loon, the village wise woman, who told Moana to listen and dream and dare– who led her to the boats– the only one who did not make her wonder what was wrong with her. “Nothing on earth can silence the quiet voice still inside you,” her grandmother tells her.  

And second, the Hufflepuff her father tried so hard to teach her–that sense of community, legacy, and tradition–sails past in a swell of song. As a child, Moana cared about the sea, about the heroes of her grandmother’s stories, the far horizon line. But her father showed her the island, the people who would be hers, and sang to her until she learned to sing along. As her Gryffindor falters, injured, her heart feeling stolen from her chest– her people, her legacy, her community, and her traditions come sweeping out of the night to remind her. They lift her up so she can find her feet again.

And the call isn’t out there at all. It’s inside me. It’s like the tide, always falling and rising. I will carry you here in my heart. You remind me that, come what may, I know the way.

-Moana, I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)

As Moana sings, “I am a girl who loves my island, and the girl who loves the sea. It calls me.” She can be both– the brave certain girl with a voice who speaks inside her, who will cross the horizon and go farther, and her father’s daughter, who loves the island she is responsible for. Her Hufflepuff Primary may be “only” a model, but you can still choose such things. You can decide the things you have built and learned and found for yourself are as important to you as those that come easy and natural to your hand. The things she is and the things she’s learned and the things she loves save her there.

For her secondary (aka HOW she does things), Moana seems to be a Hufflepuff Secondary– the House of empathy and hard work and determination. It’s her ability to care, work, and understand that carries her through.

When her position as chief’s daughter comes unnaturally to her, she deals with it by pouring herself into the work. She fixes leaking roofs and tries her hardest.

First setting out on her venture, she sails over unknown seas through night, storms, boredom, and exhaustion with a stubborn grit. She practices her first words to Maui over and over, and no matter how often she gets tossed into the ocean she never gives up.

Moana would have crashed herself against the barrier reef of Te Fiti until she broke herself– this is both her Gryffindor Primary and her Hufflepuff Secondary at work. Determination, belief, and perseverance all bundled up into one young woman.

When she finally wins Maui over to her side, it’s through understanding him– she listens to his boasting, looks at his tattoos, and realizes: he wants to be needed and he needs to be wanted. He is lonely, abandoned by those who were supposed to love him, and he’s spent all his long life trying to earn that love back.

In the finale, she looks at the lava spirit Te Ka and sees her for who she is. Just like she looked at Maui and felt for him, and used that to change him– she looks at Tefiti’s blackened husk and feels for her. Moana knows her, cares for her, loves her, and offers up the heart in her hands.

Flensburg in Schleswig-Holstein is Germany’s northernmost city, located on the Ostsee (Baltic Sea) near the border with Denmark. Its 90,000 residents live around the Flensburger Förde (Flensburg Fjord). Most people arrive here by car via the German Autobahn A7 or the Danish E45, leading to Hamburg in the south and to Kolding in Denmark. As in all German cities, walking is the best way to get around in the city center. There’s a nice shopping district with old houses and gardens and a variety of museums and churches. There’s a maritime atmosphere here with a long seafarer tradition - the harbor hosts sailing regattas and other events. Lots of people arrive here from Denmark and other Nordic countries for shopping. There are numerous small shops along the pedestrian streets Holm and Große Straße; the new shopping mall Flensburg Galerie with 80 shops is 2 km south and there are various other large shopping malls in the area. Price differences between Denmark and Germany make particular items a bargain for Danish people and other Scandinavians who specifically come to shop here, sometimes even just for groceries. Average consumer prices in Germany are 24% lower than in Denmark.