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Old 16th May 2014, 06:31 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams....One of the most peculiar Ethnographic arms I have seen in Oman is...The Palm Tree. Defenders of Forts used the boiling oil from date palms to pour down specially built-in slots above main doorways on top of raiders.

Shown below is Nakhl Fort surrounded by Date Palms.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Present in the majority of local medieval castles, the machicolations, known in portuguese with the sugestive name of mata-cães (dog killers), have seen passing through their holes, the most varied materials ... arrows, stones, boiling water, boiling olive oil, but not boiling date oil.
Therefore our equivalent Ethno weapon is ... the Olive Tree

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Old 16th May 2014, 07:03 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... Dr Roads believes that Oman has an amazing collection of muzzle-loading cannons and carriages from more than ten countries. “There are 27 different carriages at Barka Castle and Al Hazm Fort and there are plans to add another six. With Iberian cannon and carriages, the variety in Al Hazm far exceeds those existing in Spain and Portugal combined together.” "Unquote...

As i said before, i had the oportunity (previlege) to follow (from here) the works in Al Hazm back in 2005. I am aware that Dr. Roads is an expert of international recognition.
One may also ponder on the interpretation of determined afirmations, which either go together with a certain context or are brought to paper by the free hand of the Media.
I absolutely accept that the collection in Al Hazm is imense but (and) take in consideration the term variety ... which is not necessarily quantity.
I say this because the collection of bronze cannons in the Portuguese Military Museum is said to be unpaired (uncomparable) in the world. Then again, this may refer to variety, or and quantity ... or uniqueness.
From primitive cannons (trons) made in 1382 and early pieces made between 1370-1495, to regular examples cast during the realm of sixteen different Kings (1495-1908), adding those made overseas and also from foreign countries, is something worth to see ... if ever you come around.
And, if we consider that Spain, for one, was a greater might in the area, one may guess how great and varied must be their cannon collections.
I sincerely hope you don't mind my diverting from the thread topic which is Oman forts and cannons but, one gets excited and is difficult to keep this type of things severely restricted.
A couple images from the Museum, arranged without any quality.

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Old 16th May 2014, 07:10 PM   #33
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One more .

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Old 18th May 2014, 05:09 AM   #34
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I would be amazed if al Hazm can beat that !

In terms of Portuguese Forts in Oman I believe the situation is blurred by terminology; Someone may have noted that there are a lot of forts in Oman which originate as Portuguese design, influence or creation. What I think has transpired is a perception that this meant a lot of the 1000 or so Forts were Portuguese...when in fact there are perhaps 12...all on the coast. Portugal had no reason to build other than on coastal sites thus no inland forts exist. To some people 12 is quite a lot of forts...but compared to the 1000 or so, numerically, it is but a few. Thus the mis quote that only a few forts are Portuguese. Here are the maps..How that became interpretted as only Mirani and Jelali plus the turrets at Muttrah I have no idea...
Once I can get into al Hazm I will take the pictures of their Iberian Cannon... which apparently are very impressive. It would indeed be incredible if the number and quality were of equal or superior to those you display.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 18th May 2014, 03:50 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... What I think has transpired is a perception that this meant a lot of the 1000 or so Forts were Portuguese...when in fact there are perhaps 12...all on the coast. Portugal had no reason to build other than on coastal sites thus no inland forts exist. To some people 12 is quite a lot of forts...but compared to the 1000 or so, numerically, it is but a few. Thus the mis quote that only a few forts are Portuguese. ...

Obviously a question of context ... or the universe you are reffering to.
12 forts in 1000 are nothing but a residual fraction. 12 forts in themselves built in the Omani coast for foreign occupation are quite a few.
... Taking in consideration that Oman, in the Ormuz straight, played a rather strategic role in the period ... and not only.
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Old 19th May 2014, 05:22 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Obviously a question of context ... or the universe you are reffering to.
12 forts in 1000 are nothing but a residual fraction. 12 forts in themselves built in the Omani coast for foreign occupation are quite a few.
... Taking in consideration that Oman, in the Ormuz straight, played a rather strategic role in the period ... and not only.



I agree. I also believe there was a Portuguese fort on Mazira Island possibly protecting a mine of some sort. I am still at Barka on a project for 3 more weeks ..but I shall work my way around to the Al Hazm exhibition later...with camera.

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Old 19th May 2014, 07:25 AM   #37
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Barka in May 2014; Some definition to the extent of wall removal..It appears that something like 300 to 500 metres of outer wall plus at least two turret instalations (the outer wall thickness several feet thick and perhaps 10 feet high) has been incorporated into other buildings adjacent to the fort and may even have been co-opted into actual main fort extensions and repairs.

Also showing the slot down which boiling hot oil was poured turning the attackers into human toffee apples !

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Old 20th May 2014, 05:09 AM   #38
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Traders have always operated in the shadow of Forts.
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Old 20th May 2014, 06:22 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Traders have always operated in the shadow of Forts.

What place is this ? The shop owner might as well sleep in the fort facilities .

My home town fortress has a clear periphery since the last several decades. Not that the situation is completely innocuous, with its 'kitsch' kitchen exhaust. This fortress was adapted to coast guard barracks for a long while; not any longer ... but the chimney is still there

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Old 20th May 2014, 07:21 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... Also showing the slot down which boiling hot oil was poured turning the attackers into human toffee apples ! ...

Amazing. I have never seen 'murder holes' in the form of slits; quite handy for pouring scalding date syrup.
As in this side of the world is stone that abounds, holes are circular, as 'non holes' are also available; it is the intention that counts.
You have them also by the dozen, as in this example situated in the middle of the country, where machicolations, toped by brick arches, must have been a Mudejar (you know the term ?) work.

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Old 20th May 2014, 08:03 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
I agree. I also believe there was a Portuguese fort on Mazira Island possibly protecting a mine of some sort. I am still at Barka on a project for 3 more weeks ..but I shall work my way around to the Al Hazm exhibition later...with camera.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Some authors beleive that Cristovão de Mendonça, who was Captain of the Ormuz fort as from 1523, would have built a fort in Mazirah. The ruins of this fort are situated near a (copper?) mine and it is thought that Cristovão de Mendonça was involved in its exploration.
Meanwhile, browsing the Web on these matters i have learnt that a person who is able to expand in this issue of possible traces of Portuguese presence in Oman is Professor Mohamed Said Nasser Al-Wahaibi, responsible for the Department of History of the Ministery of Culture and Patrimony of Oman. This eminent Cathedratic has been twice in Portugal, organizing Omani seminars and is acquainted with local scholars. He is said to have been impressed with the quantity of documentation he found in Lisbon National Archives.
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Old 21st May 2014, 08:09 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Some authors beleive that Cristovão de Mendonça, who was Captain of the Ormuz fort as from 1523, would have built a fort in Mazirah. The ruins of this fort are situated near a (copper?) mine and it is thought that Cristovão de Mendonça was involved in its exploration.
Meanwhile, browsing the Web on these matters i have learnt that a person who is able to expand in this issue of possible traces of Portuguese presence in Oman is Professor Mohamed Said Nasser Al-Wahaibi, responsible for the Department of History of the Ministery of Culture and Patrimony of Oman. This eminent Cathedratic has been twice in Portugal, organizing Omani seminars and is acquainted with local scholars. He is said to have been impressed with the quantity of documentation he found in Lisbon National Archives.



Salaams ...Yes I saw the various websites on the subject ...http://www.maphist.nl/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=182 and a good wikepedia reference at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crist%...e_Mendon%C3%A7a

Interesting that modern adendum to ancient forts always incude such objects as chimneys, aeriels, lamp posts and road signs!! It seems to be a modern disease. I hope you are spared the gigantic, pink, tailors shops....

Below ~ I am back into Barka fort to shoot more cannon...I wish ! but for now only with a camera. The fat boys (bigger barrels ) are from 3 British barrel makers; Monks~ Dondas ~Armstrong . Both Monks and Dondas fire a 32 pound ball and barrels weigh 2 and 2 and a half tons.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 25th May 2014, 07:03 AM   #43
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I just happened to be in Sohar yesterday (24 May 2014 at 4 pm)...and passed by the old Fort which is accredited as being the area from which cannon were first fired in Oman in 1616.

By chance I caught the Fort disrobed of its usual overall thick covering of whitewash (view the whitewash lining the gun ports...)and underneath is the amazing myriad of brick and stonework showing its repairs and renovation down the ages.. A couple of English cannon grace the main doors..plus plastic rain/dust covers..

There is an ongoing major restoration and repair underway...
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Old 25th May 2014, 08:51 PM   #44
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Most impressive; i wish i could visit it !
Visible are modifications carried out through time, as in many or all fortifications everywhere.
It is comforting to know that your nation cares to perserve its historic assets; i see that plenty Omani forts are or were restored ... something not so intense over here, i guess. Naturaly you need funds to go ahead with these works, which are not at all that cheap.
I take it that those two cannons are not wearing a 'raincoat' to prevent them to catch a cold but a 'dustcoat' to save them from the dirt caused by the restoring works.
This is not the first time you mention that this is the place where cannons were first fired in Oman (1616). Am i missing something in the approach? Do you mean cannons first fired by Omani or first fired at all ? Wasn't Portuguese artillery used all through the 16th. century ?
Amazing and somehow off topic is the brick pavement on the walkway, like where the cannons are standing; same as used here in many places, like in my own residence park, for one. Could they have been imported from here ?

Last edited by fernando : 25th May 2014 at 10:32 PM. Reason: spell
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Old 26th May 2014, 05:00 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Most impressive; i wish i could visit it !
Visible are modifications carried out through time, as in many or all fortifications everywhere.
It is comforting to know that your nation cares to perserve its historic assets; i see that plenty Omani forts are or were restored ... something not so intense over here, i guess. Naturaly you need funds to go ahead with these works, which are not at all that cheap.
I take it that those two cannons are not wearing a 'raincoat' to prevent them to catch a cold but a 'dustcoat' to save them from the dirt caused by the restoring works.
This is not the first time you mention that this is the place where cannons were first fired in Oman (1616). Am i missing something in the approach? Do you mean cannons first fired by Omani or first fired at all ? Wasn't Portuguese artillery used all through the 16th. century ?
Amazing and somehow off topic is the brick pavement on the walkway, like where the cannons are standing; same as used here in many places, like in my own residence park, for one. Could they have been imported from here ?


Well spotted on the new pavements! Where does the modern world begin and the old one end?
In terms of the 1616 reference I deliberately go no further than that since I have not seen any documentation of who was firing at who? Nor do I know of the outcome...For now just a strange date....1616. I assume that refers to cannon fired by Omani gunners from the shore instalation at Sohar.
So far as the dustcoats are concerned ....no idea.
Do cannon suffer from dust? Maybe some acidic reaction or when they were removing the thick coat of whitewash...It may simply be standard proceedure as there is a team of retorers I believe from Morocco working on the entire system presumeably Fort by Fort.


I will discover more as I move around the Forts.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 26th May 2014, 01:50 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
...It may simply be standard procedure as there is a team of restorers ...

I see it as the one and only reason. You are not going to mess with ancient patina by allowing the fall of inopportune paint drops and all kinds of dirt and then having to rub here and there with whatever necessary means to remove their presence.
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Old 27th May 2014, 05:35 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... Also showing the slot down which boiling hot oil was poured turning the attackers into human toffee apples ! ...

So they call it asal, a sticky, boiling brew made from dates (quote).
I am starting to realize that the slot idea, contrary to the round holes system, is an Omani exclusive.
My wife loves tamaras, as we call them here; for some reason the term derives from the arab tamar ( التمر )
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Old 28th May 2014, 06:30 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
So they call it asal, a sticky, boiling brew made from dates (quote).
I am starting to realize that the slot idea, contrary to the round holes system, is an Omani exclusive.
My wife loves tamaras, as we call them here; for some reason the term derives from the arab tamar ( التمر )




Timmer or timmur is dates whilst the tree is the Nakhl (date palm tree) The traditional old greeting in our Oasis ... Buraimi... is Kayf Haalaq ?...How are you ?...or how is your health?......Reply... Foq'l Nakhl ...Up a palm tree !!

Asel is usually reserved for honey..though also used for boiling hot dates(asel-timmer) though "dhips" is another term...
Either way the recipient is scalded in boiling oil. Medaeval napalm!!

Meanwhile I was passing the seaport and fishing harbour of Sur...now with its expanding industrial port and took a picture of one of its Forts ... and Dhow yard... traditional floating forts like these have been built here for generations and with the quick lanteen sails they were fast in the water(and quick to turn) and their low draft enabled them to navigate in shallow water.
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Old 28th May 2014, 09:45 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... Timmer or timmur is dates whilst the tree is the Nakhl (date palm tree) The traditional old greeting in our Oasis ... Buraimi... is Kayf Haalaq ?...How are you ?...or how is your health?......Reply... Foq'l Nakhl ...Up a palm tree !!.

Ah, words and languages .
Could it be that timmer or timmur is Gulf Arabic ? .
My sources are more fluent in Moroccan Arabic ; you know Morocco is just across the Straight of Gibraltar(Being there a few times). My dictionary says tamara derives from the Arabic tamrã.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... ... and Dhow yard... traditional floating forts like these have been built here for generations and with the quick lanteen sails they were fast in the water(and quick to turn) and their low draft enabled them to navigate in shallow water.

The great Dhow, the Persian Gulf version of the Indian Pangaio, a ship built in a way to last sometimes 90 years, ten times more than Portuguese Caravelas and Naus (carracks), using the lapes or galagala, a special bitumen that protected its hul and sub-hull against wear and even small artillery. Its triangular sail (Bastard in the Gulf and Latin in the Mediterranean), together with lots of knowledge in the art of sailing were the greatest resource for Western maritime evolution. A lot of techniques used in the discoveries period by Portuguese evoluted from Arab Muslim navigation expertise.

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Old 30th May 2014, 07:30 PM   #50
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A picture of a Dhow in earlier times..from "Richardson and Dor" the Historical Association publication.
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Old 1st June 2014, 07:15 PM   #51
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Double post. Mislead by frequent time outs and apparent text lost.

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Old 1st June 2014, 07:47 PM   #52
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A picture of a Dhow in earlier times..

Can you define earlier times ?
I wish i knew enough about sails to define the rig of this specific Dhow. It looks square (to me ) and not the bastard lateen expected in these historic ships. I wonder if this one can sail 'against' the wind, using the 'beating', a series of 'tacks' executed in a zigzag mode.
Square sails achieve faster speeds but only travel with the wind by the back (before wind, they say). They have to ponder in their route to reach a determined destination; in such way that, as is said, Cabral 'found' Brazil due to his having to sail far to West to then turn around to touch the Cape, on his way to India, whilst seeking favourable winds.
But if contrary winds constituted a serious problem for tall sailing ships, total wind absency was even lethal, when they were caught in the middle of the Ocean. The (only) alternative was to tow the ships, using their own rowing boats, to either a wind blowing area or a favourable position when in combat.
I bring this appendix to attention as, by coincidence (or not), the Dhow you posted looks as being towed, with the waters (and wind) so calm and a rowing boat right in front at close distance.
May i attach pictures of an example of lateen sail used over here, in this case a deep waters fishing boat specimen exclusive to my home town. Having disapeared from circulation in the fifties to give place to motorization, the locals built a fully functional replica totally faithfull to original techniques. This lateen sail version is called 'pendão' (pennant) due to the manner it pends from the mast, held by a huge spar.

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Old 1st June 2014, 09:24 PM   #53
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Nelson's HMS Victory 104 guns, launched 1765, carried a lateen rig on her mizzen mast in the early years of her career .

It was also one of the easiest of 'jury' rigs available to mariners of those days .
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Old 2nd June 2014, 01:04 AM   #54
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Rick et al,

Here is an article from an international museum committee site that is certainly germane to the original topic. I really enjoy all Ibrahiim al Balooshi posts and we are truly fortunate to have such an arms and armour devotee from that part of globe share his passion with us . Enjoy

http://www.klm-mra.be/icomam/downloads/issue07.pdf
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Old 2nd June 2014, 06:35 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miqueleter
Rick et al,

Here is an article from an international museum committee site that is certainly germane to the original topic. I really enjoy all Ibrahiim al Balooshi posts and we are truly fortunate to have such an arms and armour devotee from that part of globe share his passion with us . Enjoy

http://www.klm-mra.be/icomam/downloads/issue07.pdf



Salaams Miqueleter ...The reference is excellent and I use it on a lot as a backdrop to various topics thus I have refered to it in other aspects of my work here on Khanjars, Forts 'n Cannon and... everything Omani. Thank you for your post...
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Old 2nd June 2014, 06:38 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Nelson's HMS Victory 104 guns, launched 1765, carried a lateen rig on her mizzen mast in the early years of her career .

It was also one of the easiest of 'jury' rigs available to mariners of those days .


A good friend of mine was on the Victory... which although tied alongside was/is still a posting in the Royal Navy.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 06:42 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Can you define earlier times ?
I wish i knew enough about sails to define the rig of this specific Dhow. It looks square (to me ) and not the bastard lateen expected in these historic ships. I wonder if this one can sail 'against' the wind, using the 'beating', a series of 'tacks' executed in a zigzag mode.
Square sails achieve faster speeds but only travel with the wind by the back (before wind, they say). They have to ponder in their route to reach a determined destination; in such way that, as is said, Cabral 'found' Brazil due to his having to sail far to West to then turn around to touch the Cape, on his way to India, whilst seeking favourable winds.
But if contrary winds constituted a serious problem for tall sailing ships, total wind absency was even lethal, when they were caught in the middle of the Ocean. The (only) alternative was to tow the ships, using their own rowing boats, to either a wind blowing area or a favourable position when in combat.
I bring this appendix to attention as, by coincidence (or not), the Dhow you posted looks as being towed, with the waters (and wind) so calm and a rowing boat right in front at close distance.
May i attach pictures of an example of lateen sail used over here, in this case a deep waters fishing boat specimen exclusive to my home town. Having disapeared from circulation in the fifties to give place to motorization, the locals built a fully functional replica totally faithfull to original techniques. This lateen sail version is called 'pendão' (pennant) due to the manner it pends from the mast, held by a huge spar.

.




Old times I think refers to about 1900...I have seen pictures and sketches of ships at harbour in Muscat (even today) ..The sketches and old photos show such vessels offloading cargo...rifles and provisions at Muscat. I will dig out more maritime work...
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Old 3rd June 2014, 06:18 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Nelson's HMS Victory 104 guns, launched 1765, carried a lateen rig on her mizzen mast in the early years of her career .

It was also one of the easiest of 'jury' rigs available to mariners of those days .


... Up to today, when the most varied multiple sail rigs, cutters, schooners, barques, barquentines, brigs, etc. do not reject the presence of lateen sails in their rig and... just in case, an auxiliary motor .

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Last edited by fernando : 3rd June 2014 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 6th June 2014, 03:50 PM   #59
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
... Up to today, when the most varied multiple sail rigs, cutters, schooners, barques, barquentines, brigs, etc. do not reject the presence of lateen sails in their rig and... just in case, an auxiliary motor .

,


I think the whole subject of naval warfare in the region is very interesting deserving further research and perhaps a dedicated thread although I very much like discussing it here...as floating fortresses.. ...in tandem with Forts and Cannon of Oman... Either way it is a great subject..

I would like to return to Sohar Fort since I have captured a few more pictures of the damage now being repaired by a specialist team and to illustrate the size of the problem caused mainly by rain...and unseen until the thick coating of whitewash was removed. The temperature was about 50 degrees, thus, solar degradation is a problem and at about 50 paces from the Ocean salinity also plays a part.The reapplication of a modern concrete crenelation along the top of the ramparts is deliberate and in an attempt to halt water seepage into the main walls ( and its devastating results ) during rain storms. Similar work has had good results in Forts in the UAE.
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Old 10th July 2014, 04:59 PM   #60
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Hello,

Here is a very nice article on the forts of Oman: http://www.klm-mra.be/icomam/downloads/issue07.pdf

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