June 30, 2023 | Ken Reed

Friday Joke: Man Can’t Live On Bread Alone … Maybe Rum?

USS Constitution

We all know the hazards of mixing alcohol with high-risk activities.  And yet, this is an entry in the sailing log of the USS Constitution from 1779, courtesy of the National Park Service.  By the way, in no way is this to be construed as a recommendation!

“On 23 August 1779, the USS Constitution set sail from Boston, loaded with 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of water, 74,000 cannon shot, 11,500 pounds of black powder, and 79,400 gallons of rum. Her mission was to destroy and harass English shipping.

On 6 October, she made Jamaica, took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum. Three weeks later, Constitution reached the Azores, where she provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 6,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England, where her crew captured and scuttled 12 English merchant vessels and took aboard their rum. By this time, Constitution had run out of shot. Nevertheless, she made her way unarmed up the Firth of Clyde for a night raid. Here, her landing party captured a whiskey distillery, transferred 40,000 gallons aboard, and headed for home.

On 20 February 1780, the Constitution arrived in Boston with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, and no whiskey. She did, however, still carry her crew of 475 officers and men and 48,600 gallons of water.”

Show Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *