Thursday, May 10, 2012
Question from Jan - Ship-to-ship signaling and communication
I'm writing a sequel to my children's novel Harry Bone-Thief, and want my hero, now aboard ship & on his way home from seeking a North West passage, to encounter another vessel on its way out from France, and to speak her and learn the news (Henry VIII is dead). They won't have had flag signals yet, so how did they communicate? How wd Harry, away for many months, know whether or not the approaching French boat was an enemy? Dipping into Hakluyt, I find that ships saluted each other with cannon 'in the manner of the sea' - where can I find something more precise?