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Thread: Girl power

  1. #1
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    Default Girl power



    Today is the birthday of Eleanor Creasy (1814 - 1900), the daughter of a master mariner named Capt. Prentiss from Marblehead. Eleanor studied weather, ocean currents and astronomy , and sailed under her father's guidance throughout her childhood before marrying Capt. Jpsiah Creesy, a skilled sailor. As his navigator in 1851, she used sextant and chronometer to skillfully plot an improved sailing course between New York and San Francisco, skippering the maiden voyage of the 235-foot clipper ship Flying Cloud alongside her husband. Wit their three-master they enjoyed a safe and swift 14,000-mile journey around the tip of South America despite bad weather.

    Before then, clippers needed an average of 130 days - and could take 200 - for this passage, but the Creesys made the journey in less than 90 days. Upon arrival on September 01, 1851, the couple was heralded by the San Francisco Daily Atlas as celebrities, holding the speed record for this type of vessel ever since. In an unofficial survey, Flying Cloud was considered America's most famous clipper and, as such, it has been depicted in artwork more than any other ship.

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Girl power

    that illustration of flying cloud is one of my all time favourite depictions of any sailing ship

    do you think the creesys knew mathew maury?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Girl power

    "...992 nautical miles over three consecutive days..."

    That's going some!

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Whole thing is impressive - particularly for a woman at that time in history.

    Not that I've read a great deal on it, but how much of the feat was better navigation & how much having a fast ship. Anyone know?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Whole thing is impressive - particularly for a woman at that time in history.

    Not that I've read a great deal on it, but how much of the feat was better navigation & how much having a fast ship. Anyone know?
    And how much plain old dumb luck?

    Still impressive!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Garret, although no one is disputing Flying Cloud's speed potential, a savings of 30% in elapsed time is a bit much to attribute to hull speed and good sailing. If you have read Chapelle's The Search for Speed Under Sail you will note that incremental hull speed increases in that era was in the order of 0.5% - 1.0% per new design. A hard-driving sailing captain with good luck and skill might gain a 3% - 5% reduction in ET over his competitors. Based on all that speculative data, I'd say that Mrs. Creesy's navigational skill was responsible for 37 out of the 40 days the ship shaved off of the previous record passage.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Girl power

    worth noting, they made land fall on that record voyage in september, meaning much of their sailing speed cane from winter gales, especially as they veritable flew for home up the western side of south america
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Thank you Michael!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Girl power

    "particularly for a woman at that time in history."

    it's worth commenting that 'at that time in history', a fair number of women had their exploits credited to men - often enough, their husbands. Thanks for this thread, Michael.

    and is Oz banned?? - with a fresh post still standing? .

    oz.banned.on.girl.power.jpg

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    Default Re: Girl power

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Garret, although no one is disputing Flying Cloud's speed potential, a savings of 30% in elapsed time is a bit much to attribute to hull speed and good sailing. If you have read Chapelle's The Search for Speed Under Sail you will note that incremental hull speed increases in that era was in the order of 0.5% - 1.0% per new design. A hard-driving sailing captain with good luck and skill might gain a 3% - 5% reduction in ET over his competitors. Based on all that speculative data, I'd say that Mrs. Creesy's navigational skill was responsible for 37 out of the 40 days the ship shaved off of the previous record passage.
    Sounds much more likely.

    So how does it work, she's calculating away, what, every couple of hours or so, and passing instructions to the helm? Is that how it was done? Thus traveling a much shorter distance?
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Hard to say, Mr. Russel, given the distance of time since the event. I would speculate that, given that she "studied weather, ocean currents...", that she used this knowledge to take advantage of her superior knowledge of weather patterns to ride the prevailing winds springing from known weather patterns and made better use of oceanic currents than her contemporaries did.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Yes, what was I thinking. Not just sticking to a course, but laying the right course in the first place.

    On the scale of, New York to San Fran, across the equator twice, around the Horn.
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Girl power

    I bought a painting of the Flying Cloud and had it framed as a gift for my eldest son. I will find a pic, or take one.


    Last edited by Hallam; 09-21-2020 at 04:56 PM. Reason: add photo
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci.

    If war is the answer........... it must be a profoundly stupid question.

    "Freighters on the nod on the surface of the bay, One of these days we're going to sail away"
    Bruce Cockburn

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Quote Originally Posted by Durnik View Post

    and is Oz banned?? - with a fresh post still standing? .

    oz.banned.on.girl.power.jpg
    I was wondering too... I clicked on his name and tried to suss out from recent posts what might have been the trigger, but nothing obvious.

    EDIT: I don't want to hijack this thread. Paul has created a thread on the subject.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Girl power

    I’ve been reading “Historic Ships” by Rupert Sargent Holland to
    my Son at bedtime. 😀

    Not only was the story of the Flying Cloud related, but also another interesting anecdote:

    ”it is related that when captain Patten, of the ‘Neptune’s Car’, fell ill during a storm off Cape Horn and the first mate was in irons for disobedience and the second mate proved inefficient the Captain’s nineteen year old wife, who had only made one previous voyage, took command of the clipper and brought her safely to San Francisco in fifty-two days”

    Ralphie

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Girl power

    There was a surprisingly large number of completely kick-ass women around in those days, in many fields. One I dredged up was the fact that in the 1890s, women skippers were dominant in UK yacht racing, and one of them beat one of the top Aussie "skiffs" in a challenge. Some say that today, successful women of the 19th century are often written out of history because they don't fit the story of oppression, and the history of women in seafaring and sailing (as with some in art) seems to underline that - sadly the pioneering women are often ignored or downgraded even by feminist scholars as well as by those who assume that only men went to sea.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Girl power

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post


    Every time I see this image I think of how much fun it would be to have to take down all those studdingsails and skysails if the wind suddenly increased.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Girl power

    I work in a male dominant employment sector. Whenever I have had female colleagues they have always outperformed other staff.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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