Here comes a somewhat unusual request perhaps for you sailing savvy guys. Maybe you can help out someone who has practically no knowledge whatsoever of the matter, but needs some basic technical info. Well, here goes what I'm up to, so that you have an idea:
I'm writing sort of a novella that deals with a sailor travelling by ship in a setting comparable to, say, the 19th century. Actually, it's a rather unique - one might call it even avantgardistic - text in a way that it's not really an adventure story as you might expect, but more a poetic existential reflection on life with the sea as the main theme. You might as well call it a poem, though in its final form it will stretch over several dozen pages. The text changes between prose and lyrics, follows a certain rhythm dictated by the sea and the winds, and while there appears to be a main character, it's all really about the themes brought up and the reader himself/herself confronted with them as he/she journeys the vastness that is the sea. So the sea journey is analogous to life itself, melancholic in parts
, exciting in others, a voyage into the unknown, with all its hopes, fears and dangers.
That said, here comes the issue: I'm not a sailor at all myself and approach the whole text of course more from the existential side I want to convey, so the sailing as such is secondary. But I come across certain questions where I definitely need technical advice to get things somewhat right.
Basically what I'm looking for is sort of a crash course on sailing a larger 19th century sailboat, complete with common terminology and technical advice on how to handle specific situations. Right now for example I'm looking for information on how to deal with a major storm on board of such a vessel - what tasks the various hands are supposed to do, when and why, how to react to winds and waves sailing-wise, if there are differences between larger and smaller ships I have to take into consideration, and so on.
So in short: If you know where I could find information to help with 19th century sailboat handling, that would be great. The more precise and easy to understand in layman's terms, the better of course, after all I'm not actually planning to sail such a boat...
- Thanks in advance for any pointers!