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A jury-rig is a makeshift rig set up by the ship’s crew to take the place of what has been lost.

Jury-rigged with spars lashed to the stumps of the mainmast and foremast, with a bit of sail spread to give steerage, the much-battered Concepción limped on. After the hurricane off the Florida coast, the ship’s carpenters had pounded slabs of oakum, a caulking material, into the cracks and openings between boards, stemming many of the leaks. After many other repairs, the ship was ready to sail again. But critical problems remained.

Nearly all the provisions and all but a hundred pounds (forty-five kilograms) of gunpowder had been destroyed by surging water in the cargo holds. Up on deck, men groaned in agony as they heaved pump handles up and down under a hot sun. And on the stern, squabbling broke out between the ship’s top officers and its pilots. Each group had determined a different reading of the ship’s longitude from the ship’s astrolabe. Governor Don Bernardo de Tejada, a distinguished passenger, took his own reading and found the position far different from that obtained by the pilots. Tejada would soon be proved disastrously correct.



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