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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Taking to the water to learn about maritime archaeology

Published: 7 August 2009Origin: Archaeology
Jon Adams with Lord Nelson

A reconstruction of an 18th century French Admiral’s gig, crewed by University of Southampton Archaeology students and other enthusiasts has been rowed up the Beaulieu River to moor at her new home, the historic maritime village of Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest.

Admiral Lord Nelson was on board and accepted a red ensign from University maritime archaeologist Dr Jon Adams to mark the homecoming.
Graduates Camilla Rowe and Ben Heaney, who are about to embark on their Masters degrees in Maritime Archaeology are both crew members. ‘I’m a keen sailor but rowing the gig is a challenge,’ said Camilla. ‘You can get splashed by waves out in the Solent if you don’t have the right technique but it’s good fun.’

The 38 foot long gig, called Intégrité, and its crew of 14 was welcomed by academics and students who were at Buckler’s Hard as part of the British Festival of Archaeology. They offered practical taster sessions to visitors throughout the day including flint knapping, boat building techniques, geophysics, pot making, and brass rubbing.

Intégrité is a member of a fleet of gigs from around the world which race against each other every two years. The next International Contest of Seamanship will take place in Canada in 2010. The gig will also give University of Southampton students opportunities to take to the water to experience and learn traditional sailing, rowing and seamanship.

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