Well, I have now discovered an absolute adoration of nautical novels. 'The Terror' by Dan Simmons currently has me hooked (a review shall be upcoming). I know that fiction isn't the best form of research for facts but it's quite good for getting a feel for things. I should try to track down a decent autobiography but I'm not sure whether I could put up with a book written in the 1700s which is the sort of historical nautical period that I'm interested in. Then again, I did enjoy Dante's Inferno...
I've also been borrowing any reference text I can get my grubby little mitts on. It's easier now I work in a library but council libraries don't have that many books on the subject. Now I'm almost fully employed, I just don't have time during the opening hours of the State Library to go take a look. Well, not without giving up some of my weekends and I'm just not prepared to do that yet. I like my weekends. They're ... lazy.
Anyhow, I recently checked out the Adelaide Nautical Museum. Very nostalgic. Last time I went down there was a primary school excursion. It has some interesting mood-inspiring pieces, very immersive, with recreations of different ship rooms and some very moody audio logs of ship's journals. So if you ever check out Adelaide, check out that museum. It's the best museum I've seen so far.
Ironically, the ship in my novel isn't much of a regular ship but I still want to know some of the terminology. Lucky for me, Jason's no veteran sailor so if I get some of the terminology slightly off, it can all be attributed to a 12-year-old's naivete.
Not to mention, a lot of the historical nautical novels are actually quite good. I think I've discovered a gold mine of good writing. Boring bus rides no more! I have a back log of books to read!