‘the tide had risen a good deal’ – NO IT HADN’T

Club members who have been paying close attention will remember that on October 16 in the book, Carruthers makes a note that “High water at morning and evening is between five and six”. He and Davies are somewhere between Wangerooge and Spiekeroog at the time, and he even adds a short footnote stating: “the reader shouldContinue reading “‘the tide had risen a good deal’ – NO IT HADN’T”

‘a specimen of the smallest variety of jack-snipe’

Carruthers hasn’t talked enough about shooting since he acquired his Lancasters back in September. At last on October 16, he bothers to get his gun out, but all he manages to bag is a jack snipe. Not very impressive. Jack snipes are rather lovely little things – tiny even. One bird alone would certainly notContinue reading “‘a specimen of the smallest variety of jack-snipe’”

‘the scene from the offing was desolate to the last degree’

Charting the Harle, as Carruthers & Davies claim to be doing on October 16, was probably a rather pointless exercise back in 1898. As already noted by Lloyd (not Davies) in a previous post, the sands in these parts are constantly shifting, and the channels would be changing pretty regularly as a result. Nowhere isContinue reading “‘the scene from the offing was desolate to the last degree’”

‘One 4.9 gun, one 3.4, and four maxims’

The matter-of-fact description of the weaponry aboard the Blitz, which Carruthers and Davies see on October 16 for the first time, includes the phrase ‘four maxims’. These days, the word ‘maxim’ is more associated with sleazy lad-mags, but in 1898 it had an altogether darker sense. A maxim is a machine-gun, named for its inventor, Sir HiramContinue reading “‘One 4.9 gun, one 3.4, and four maxims’”

‘A small German gunboat, steaming slowly west

It’s October 16th in the book by now, and the narrative has switched to Carruthers’s diary for the next few days. It is today that our two heroes encounter two boats which will form a key part of the last part of the book: the rather sinister Kormoran, which we’ll discuss separately, and the Blitz, the boat commandedContinue reading “‘A small German gunboat, steaming slowly west”

The 16th Adventure Club Podcast: Spiekeroog, snipes & the Maxim machine gun

The entry in Carruthers’s log book for October 16 makes mention of: a survey of the Muschel Balge between Wangerooge and Spiekeroog; a spot of hunting for jack snipe; encounters with both the galliot Kormoran and the torpedo gunboat Blitz – the latter armed with four ‘Maxims’. Lots for us to get our teeth intoContinue reading “The 16th Adventure Club Podcast: Spiekeroog, snipes & the Maxim machine gun”