Mhaighdean Mhara Dry Docks


The Spirit of the Ship: The Figurehead

So every ship in its day was provided with a figurehead. The figurehead embodied the spirit of a ship and was originally believed to placate the gods of the sea and ensure a safe voyage. Almost every prow had a carved figure looking down at the waves, and the variety was immense. Ship figureheads have a long and fascinting history dating to pre-Christian times, when Chinese, Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek and Roman mariners navigated the Pacific and Indian oceans and Mediterranean Sea.
Later, during the reign of Charles I, English ship carpenters and wood carvers created the Sovereign of the Seas, one of the most highly decorated vessels in the history of shipbuilding. Graced with a ferocious gilded lion at its stemhead, it and the other carving and gilding of this fabulous vessel cost around 7,000 British pounds, quite a sum considering the total cost of the vessel was around 40,000 pounds.

Hopefully my good and very talented friend Rae (who is also a skilled costumer, set designer, artist, well... you get the idea) did not get the memo on figurehead prices..... ;)

So she has a nice site started to track the birth of The Mhaighdean Mhara, the mermaid soul of our ship. And yes, she fancies her name as "Babs..." And no, that is not her to the left, simply some artist's drawing out on the web to be replaced with the finished "Babs."

Link to the Mhaighdean Mhara figurehead site


Contact the Captain!