The Crew of the Albatross


Lady Highton frowned deeply when the watchman reported the sighting of the Brig in the Sound. The „Albatross“ - as she later found to be the ship’s name – had limped onto the coastline, listing and storm-battered. Another ship in desperate need of repairs and supplies. But that did not concern her. What worried her, was the masonry chimney protruding between the masts that marked her as a whaling vessel. Whaling was a dangerous and bloody business. Whaleships were notorious for hiring their crews on short notice with no questions asked, and were therefore often a hotbed of misfits, rogues, and men on the run from the law. And that was the last thing Jamestown needed: Another gang of ruffians roaming the streets! At least they sailed under a British flag. What worried her even more was the fact that the captain of the vessel appeared not to have come ashore to seek out the Governor – highly unusual in such a place as this, so far from the regular authority of the crown. Did he not have news of the world to share? Would the crew of the Albatross have anything of value to trade? Did something else lead them here? Or would the crew merely linger in the pubs and bawdyhouses until the ship was repaired and went on its way? Maybe their songs and lust for entertainment would bring some reprieve and commerce to the town. Who knows. Maybe a handful of Strong Backs accustomed to hard labor could even come in handy. Especially if they did actually feel any loyalty to the colours under which they sailed.

The Albatross' Bosun Ezekiel Hall had hard eyes in what once must have appeared to be a kind face. But the whipping knots dangling on his belt had not been made for kind work! Those familiar with such things might pick up on the telltale signs and manners of one raised in the traditions of the officers of the Royal Navy. The man did his best to appear jovial, but again and again his brow was furrowed by such wrinkles as to suggest he had more to worry over than the repairs of a windtorn ship, far from civilization.

Harpooner Alex James had the unmistakable air of a man born to salt water. The mischievous twinkle in his eyes told of many a pub fight and darker deeds done in the knowledge that by morning he would be leagues off to sea, untouchable by the hand of the law.

Able Seawoman Mary Nugent likewise has the walk of a true sailor. Quick to laugh and quick to anger, she could stare you down with a look that left no doubt that she did not suffer fools.

Eugene Smirnov, Shareman on the Albatross was a prime example of the curiosity of peoples gathered on a whaler. He set about the town with his long beard and thick accent – Bulgarian? Russian? … one of those eastern Countries – in search of supplies. While Smirnovs demeanor was calmer and more relaxed than that of his shipmates, it was hard to shake the feeling that he might be the most dangerous of the lot.

An eager little character buzzed around the ragged bunch, a Prussian by the name of Liv Pedersen. She appeared to be compensating both her lack of experience at sea and her trouble understanding English with sheer will and an unblemished spirit for hard work. 

The cook, a jolly Irish sod by the name of Sean O’Malley, didn’t seem to be much of a sailor either. But his ability to converse with different peoples in their native language - and imitate a plethora of accents for the amusement of his shipmates - suggested that he too had seen his fair share of the world. Rumor quickly spread that he was of some distant relation to Able Seawoman Nugent, and that she had saved him from quite a pickle back in Halifax, spiriting him away on the Albatross and giving him a new life behind the stove.

But curiously, another arrived in Jamestown with the crew: A handsome woman with all the dress and mannerisms of decent society about her. For such a woman to make light of traveling surrounded by such ruffians – the carelessness and joy with which she moved among the crew – suggested there was more to her than met the eye. Especially given that her speech instantly betrayed her French heritage. A French lady on a British Whaler... and here Lady Highton had thought she had seen it all - but then she wondered whether this woman was to be looked on more as a kindred spirit, not unlike herself… But the careful observer might have caught this one conversing when no one appeared to be around!


(Text: Noah Turner, Eingesprochen von Peter Posniak)