Cisco Houston Web Site

National Geographic

Songs & Sounds of the Sea


Images from the LP

For a brief, glorious moment in time, the great square riggers owned the seas of the world. Shaking out acres of canvas, they rode the tide out of New York, Boston, and Liverpool, smashed through North Atlantic gales, wallowed in the doldrums, beat south against the trades, and clawed their way around the Horn in the face of roaring westerlies, racing each other and time to the tea coasts of China, the goldfields of California and Australia. On other voyages they followed the route of Britain's stately East Indiamen to the Orient, leaning close to South America to catch the westerlies for a flying passage around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, then swinging up through the Indian Ocean to Melbourne, the Indies, and China. Whatever the destination, they sailed not only for profit, but for glory, too, in what may have been man's proudest moment on the sea.


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