THE HISPANIOLA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast of characters and vessels in the original Treasure Island novel

 

 

 

The Hispaniola is a schooner, a kind of sailing vessel with two masts (a foremast and a mainmast). The mainmast stands behind the foremast and is the taller of the two. The masts are tall pillars that hold up the sails. The word schooner derives from 'schoon,' which means to move smoothly and quickly. The ship was named after the Island of Hispaniola.

 

When Jim Hawkins presents the map of a treasure island to Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey, their first step is to figure out how to cross the Atlantic Ocean to get to the Caribbean Sea. Trelawney takes the lead, hiring a crew and seeking out an appropriate ship for their trip to Skeleton Island. From Bristol, Trelawney writes to the Doctor: ''The ship is bought and fitted. She lies at anchor, ready for sea. You never imagined a sweeter schooner - a child might sail her--two hundred tons; name, Hispaniola.'' Jim Hawkins joins the crew of the Hispaniola as a cabin boy.

 

A schooner is a type of sailing vessel defined by its rig: fore-and-aft rigged on all of two or more masts and, in the case of a two-masted schooner, the foremast generally being shorter than the mainmast. A common variant, the topsail schooner also has a square topsail on the foremast, to which may be added a topgallant. Differing definitions leave uncertain whether the addition of a fore course would make such a vessel a brigantine. Many schooners are gaff-rigged, but other examples include Bermuda rig and the staysail schooner.

The origins of schooner rigged vessels is obscure, but there is good evidence of them from the early 17th century in paintings by Dutch marine artists. The name "schooner" first appeared in eastern North America in the early 1700s. The name may be related to a Scots word meaning to skip over water, or to skip stones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The schooner rig was used in vessels with a wide range of purposes. On a fast hull, good ability to windward was useful for privateers, blockade runners, slave ships, smaller naval craft and opium clippers. Packet boats (built for the fast conveyance of passengers and goods) were often schooners. Fruit schooners were noted for their quick passages, taking their perishable cargoes on routes such as the Azores to Britain. Some pilot boats adopted the rig. The fishing vessels that worked the Grand Banks of Newfoundland were schooners, and held in high regard as an outstanding development of the type. In merchant use, the ease of handling in confined waters and smaller crew requirements made schooners a common rig, especially in the 19th century. Some schooners worked on deep sea routes.

 

In British home waters, schooners usually had cargo-carrying hulls that were designed to take the ground in drying harbours (or, even, to unload dried out on an open beach). The last of these once-common craft had ceased trading by the middle of the 20th century. Some very large schooners with five or more masts were built in the United States from circa 18801920. They mostly carried bulk cargoes such as coal and timber. In yachting, schooners predominated in the early years of the America's Cup. In more recent times, schooners have been used as sail training ships.

 

The rigging of a schooner refers to the way the ropes, sails, and masts are arranged. It's also a verb, meaning to prepare a ship for sailing. In addition to the terms for identifying locations on the deck, three prefixes are used to identify locations of the sails: fore, main and mizzen. The foremast holds up the foresail as well as a smaller sail called the jib. A beam called the bowsprit projects from the bow of the ship and is used to secure the foresail and jib. The mainmast, the tallest of the masts, holds up the mainsail. Not all schooners have a mizzenmast (a third shorter mast behind the other two), but the Hispaniola does.

The boom is attached to the mast at a 90-degree angle, and functions to keep the sail taught. The boom can be a dangerous obstacle for inexperienced sailors because it sways horizontally across the deck at the height of an average man's chest.

At one point in the Treasure Island novel, Jim tells of his dangerous encounter with the boom:

 

 ''It occurred to me there was no time to lose, and dodging the boom as it once more lurched across the deck, I slipped aft and down the companion stairs into the cabin.''

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham Gray - Ships carpenter

Ben Gunn - Marooned pirate

Billy Bones - Former mate of Captain Flint

Black Dog - Pirate

Blind Pew - Pirate

Captain Alexander Smollett - Hispaniola captain

Captain Joseph Flint - Deceased pirate, owner of buried treasure chest and map

Dick Johnson - Is a young pirate with a Bible

Doctor David Livesey - Medical man and magistrate

George Merry - A mutinous pirate

Hispaniola - The sailing ship hired for the adventure

Jim Hawkins - Cabin boy

Job Anderson - Ship's boatswain

John Hunter - Squire Trelawney's manservant

Israel Hands - Ship's coxwain, mate of Captain Flint

Long John Silver

Richard Joyce - Valet to Squire Trelawney

Squire John Trelawney

Tom Morgan - Pirate friend of Captain Flint

Tom Redruth - Gamekeeper

 

 

 

Treasure Island was written by Robert Louis Stevenson, becoming an instant hit, popular with children and adults, the subject of many films and graphic novels.

 

 

 The Adventures of John Storm - Kulo Luna the $Billion Dollar Whale        Queen Cleopatra last Paraoh of Egypt - The Mummy        

 

 

STUDIO/AGENTS: A draft script for Kulo-Luna is available on request. Cleopatra The Mummy is currently under development

 

 

 
 

 

  TREASURE ISLAND - THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN STORM & THE ELIZABETH SWANN

 

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