The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat
vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers
men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea.
She carried no evaporators (fresh water distillers).
However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On
July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston
with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600
gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600
pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."
"To destroy and harass English shipping."
Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300
gallons of rum.
Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned
with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.
On 18 November, she set sail for England.
In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war
and captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen,
salvaging only the rum aboard each.
By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted.
Nevertheless, and though unarmed, she made a night
raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party
captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt
Scotch aboard by dawn.
Then she headed home.
The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no
shot, no food, no powder, NO rum, NO wine, NO whiskey and 38,600 gallons of
This is the transcript of an ACTUAL radio conversation of a U. S. naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations on 10-10-95.
Americans: "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision."
Canadians: "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision."
Americans: "This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, DIVERT YOUR course."
Canadians: "No. I say again, you divert YOUR course."
Americans: "This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north...that's one-five-degrees North, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship."
Canadians: "This is a lighthouse. Your call."
Note: The Navy has issued a press-release stating that this incident never happened -- but that doesn't make it any less humorous.