|by C.J. Chase
I figured it could count this as a "research" trip since the hero of the book I'm just finishing spent 20 years in the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. (Not fighting the Americans, however.)
|The flag with 15 stars and stripes still waved over Fort McHenry on the morning of September 14, 1814 when Francis Scott Key penned the words to "The Star Spangled Banner."
|I took this picture from the fourth level of the closest parking garage, just to give myself an eye-level view of the masts.
|To go along with my eye-level perspective, this is what one of those tall masts looks like from the bottom. Pretty high, huh?
|Here are some of the tallest of the tall ships next to good-sized office buildings. I guess climbing one of those masts must be a little like being a window washer!
|The U.S. Coast Guard's American Eagle pulled out while I was there. Unfortunately, she used her very 21st century engines rather than wind power, so she didn't unfurl her sails.
|Oh, yeah. I got to tour some of the ships too. This is the wheel of the Pride of Baltimore II. She is a replica of a War of 1812 era American privateer.
|On the deck of the Pride of Baltimore II.
|How would you like to have to learn where every one of her ropes goes???
|Those privateers were armed, of course.
|Late 18th century/early 19th century pistols for hand-to-hand combat.
|The ugly side of combat -- injury and death. Here is a collection of medical instruments from the time period.
|I'm not sure one would have found Popeye on the masts during the Age of Sail. This is the Guayas, a training ship operated by the Ecuadorian Navy.
|You can also find cute Ecuadorian sailors on an Ecuadorian ship.
|Can you imagine climbing up this mast?
|On the far left of this picture is a modern warship, just for comparison.
|I thought this was a gorgeous picture of the ships.
|One final picture of an early 19th century ship. Did you notice the ship pictured on the cover of this novel by the notorious C.J. Chase? My next book (available February 2013) features a retired navy captain, but alas, no ships.
After leaving the corporate world to stay home with her children, C.J. Chase quickly learned she did not possess the housekeeping gene. She decided writing might provide the perfect excuse for letting the dust bunnies accumulate under the furniture. Her procrastination, er, hard work paid off in 2010 when she won the Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Manuscript and sold the novel to Love Inspired Historicals. Her next book, The Reluctant Earl, will be available in February of 2013. You can visit C.J.'s cyber-home (where the floors are always clean) at www.cjchasebooks.com