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National Geographic

Songs & Sounds of the Sea


Images from the LP

A sailing ship is no place for acrophobia! Looking aloft from the rolling deck offers a dizzying vision of sails and spars climbing like a giant's ladder up the mainmast of the German training ship Gorch Fock. Leaping into the shrouds at the cry of "All hands aloft!" the sailors of old always swarmed up the rat lines on the weather side so that the wind would blow them into the rigging, not away from it. Hundreds of lines, all of which had names, went into the rigging of the ship, and woe betide the flustered Jack-tar who hesitated when the skipper or mate bellowed, "Clew up the fore royal... lower away... haul away on those clew lines... check in the weather brace!"


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