Time was running out. We had only one day left in the country before leaving for the town (i.e. London) for the final leg of our English trip. After a lengthy discussion, we decided to visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. It was close from Sidlesham, where we were staying. Besides, my husband LOVES ships (and airplanes). Yes, I am one of those wives who have suffered over the years to keep company of their husbands wowing over old ships and airplanes at museums.
Actually, I was glad of our decision because I got to go inside the HMS Victory. This is the famous ship on which Lord Horatio Nelson died at the age of 47 at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. As an Anglophile and British historian, it was touching to see the very spot of his death. You see, the British and the French under Napoleon had been fighting like cats and dogs during the Napoleonic Wars. After the heavy losses suffered in this historic naval battle, Napoleon had to give up his design to invade the British Isles. Hurray!
We heard an amusing (or macabre, depending on your taste) anecdote about the disposal of Lord Nelson's body. He asked that his remains should be brought back to Britain for a land burial. The crew came up with a clever idea of "preserving" the body in a large barrel of rum for the several weeks' journey. After landing, they toasted with "Nelson's Blood". It was full-bodied!
The beautiful ship featured in the painting is the HMS Warrior--the world's first iron-clad ship from 1860. Soon after I took the reference photo with puffy clouds, the sun disappeared for the rest of the day. I was lucky!
|HMS Victory; it is an impressive ship, don't you think?|