HMS Victory - raising the anchor
The upper capstan
The anchor cable was made of best quality hemp - with a cable circumference of 24 inches. This was far too large to be wrapped around the capstan so a smaller messenger cable was wrapped around the capstan drums and clipped to the anchor cable. As the drums rotated the messenger moved taking the anchor cable with it.
Anchor cable in port cable locker
The heavy anchor cable was carefully coiled down in the cable locker. The bulkheads are perforated to allow air to circulate - allowing the cable to dry. Wet cable rotted rapidly.
The cable locker is on the orlop deck - the deck used for tending wounded men in battle. The red painted deck is not to hide the blood - red ochre paint was the cheapest form of waterproof paint available at the time. Below this deck is the hold and it was important to prevent the seepage of water through to the hold below.
When the upper capstan was not in use, the holes for the bars were stopped with specially made drawers. In action these would be filled with dressings for immediate use on wounded men.