Master and Commander question

I just watched it for the first time today so may have missed something.
Why was the kid there? (Blakely?) He looked to be about 12 or so and I didn’t catch why he would be on a warship halfway across the world. I think I cought that his dad was a famous commander (could have that wrong, too).

So why was he there?

I gathered that at the time, it was common to begin training officers at a very young age.

OK, while we’re asking Master and Commander questions let me ask:

Why was it so important to have the scale model of the French ship? How did it help Aubrey?

There were practically always boys on those ships – “midshipmen” who were training to be officers, and “powder monkeys” who were going to grow up (they hoped) to be ordinary seamen. It was a difficult trade that was learned by experience.

Anyone else notice, at the start of a long tracking shot of the ship (I believe in the intro to the winter/snow scenes), there’s a guy at the bow taking a dump?

Midshipmen in the Royal Navy started that young. Lord Horatio Nelson served as a midshipman at age 12, joining the HMS Raisonnable, commanded by his uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, in January 1771. It takes time to build a good officer.

Yes! I saw that too! But my date didn’t and thought I was seeing things! So nice to know I wasn’t the only one!

We just watched it tonight and I’ve only seen it once, so I may be wrong, but…

They didn’t know what they were up against. Having a model of the ship told them how fast it was, how well it was “armored”, how many guns it carried, all that kind of thing.

Oh yes, I know that. But when push came to shove they aimed at a pretty predictable spot that, to my mind at least, didn’t seem so secret or obscure.

I also got the impression that

Knowing that it had such a thick hull, they knew there were a limited number of places where firing at it would do any good. They could then concentrate on those areas and not waste shot on the sides, where they couldn’t possibly do much damage.

Thanks for the info. When it comes to military history I tend to concentrate on WWI and WWII. I guess given the era, seeing as 35 was considered getting long in the tooth, you’d want kids in there to quickly learn so by age 25 or so they’d be ready to accept the responsibility.

Makes sense, thanks again.

For one, I think that Jack said something like “she’s vulnerable in the stern, just like the rest of us.”

Also, it showed him at least that with her speed and armor, a “normal” battle on the seas was not going to do it for him. Hence, the need for something more clever.