With Young Germany on Shipboard by John Arthur Barry

With Young Germany on Shipboard

byJohn Arthur Barry

Kobo ebook | June 9, 2013

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It is a curious fact, but a true one nevertheless, that German shipowners have realised before their British contemporaries that to prepare men to make good officers in steam they must first have some training under canvas. "No one," remarked Captain Zander, of the Herzogin Sophie Charlotte, "is, in my opinion, competent to take charge of a steamer unless he has also served in sailing ships. Apparently, however, your people think otherwise, and many firms are now taking apprentices on their steamers." Most people who know anything of the matter will be inclined to agree with Captain Zander and his employers, the Nord-Deutscher Lloyd, the great German shipping firm, which has given practical endorsement of its belief in the splendid vessel that now lies alongside Circular Quay. Of course, we have, ere this, had training ships belonging to different nations in Port Jackson. But none of those visitors have in the remotest degree, resembled the Herzogin Sophie Charlotte. So far as externals go, she is a very pretty clipper-bowed model of a ship, with perhaps the loftiest spars of any craft that has been seen in an Australian port for many a long day. They are of steel throughout with the exception of the fore and main skysail-yards, which are the only pieces of timber aloft to cross the masts of the stately Duchess. The captain and his officers are, by-the-way, rather proud of their skysails, and would have no objection to another one on the mizzen. Proud, and with reason, the whole executive are, too, of their ship, their boys who "man" her so efficiently; proud of the flag they serve under, and of the uniform they wear; and proud, also, of having broken the blank record of many years by sailing up Port Jackson, with everything set to a main skysail.

There is no veneer or gingerbread about the Duchess. Throughout the ship the motto is "Utility." From the galley to the hospital, from the officers' quarters to those of the cadets, everything strikes one as having been arranged with a paramount object in view—the one the ship is intended for. Under the immensely long poop the boys are messed and berthed. And there space, ventilation, and scrupulous cleanliness everywhere prevail. Each lad's seat at the moveable tables is numbered; and above that seat his hammock will be slung at 8 p.m. Fore and aft and athwartships run rows of numbered upright lockers, in which are kept such clothes and toilet necessaries as may serve for present use. The chests are stowed away in the 'tween decks, and do not appear in the living room. Printed and framed rules and regulations for boat and fire drill are hung here and there; the routine and surroundings smack of "steam" all over the vessel. Which, seeing what the training is intended for, a supply of officers for the great steamers of the N.D.L., is, of course, as it should be. Even the cadets, when on watch, are bound to step the deck athwart it, instead of fore and aft, as a preliminary to the bridge, where, in time, they hope to stand.

Title:With Young Germany on ShipboardFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 9, 2013Publisher:WDS PublishingLanguage:English

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