Sunday, 31 August 2014

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 55



To continue the subject of ‘lights’.  Looking for more fixed ports or portholes in the deckhouse to correspond with the nine BL circles on the blueprints, I can find only the two obvious ones close together on the starboard side, each with its torpedo vent above it. Not surprisingly these illuminated and vented two toilets (Master and Pilots only!). However, there are a number of portholes/ fixed ports down near deck level in the coaming, each with a protective hinged cover. 

Now I thought this a strange place to have ‘windows’, but the clue is in their label –  BL (Borrowed Lights).
Eskimosailor sent me a helpful fact that a window between two internal spaces is often called a borrowed light.  In this case however, things are a little more convoluted. My theory is that these low ports let daylight into the deckhouse at a low level – near the deck – and set into the deck under the ports are deadlights, probably of a letterbox shape as Simon still has two of these. One is a double square made by Hayward and is probably older than the rectangular one.




I would think these transmitted more ‘borrowed’ light below deck than the grapefruit squeezer type.

The Pilots had six BLs in their quarters; the Engineers had one; and the machinery room had two. The crew’s quarters had the two 5” DLs and the officers had one (Simon tells me he does have the third grapefruit squeezer, but it is badly chipped). The 8” DL must have been a handsome piece of glass and has been ‘souvenired’!  By a grapefruit fanatic??  If anyone out there comes across an 8” version of the squeezer, Simon would love to hear about it.
Meanwhile, I have still found no information, let alone photos of Cormorant before she was converted in 1943, apart from where and when she was built and her dimensions………
David