Gramps and I just returned from a three week vacation to the west coast. A lot of the trip involved time on boats, a ship and other sailing vehicles.
One day we spent on a tall sailing ship, the Californian, for an excursion out of San Diego Bay. That ship is a replica of an old revenue cutter, well-used and well-built. These are photos of the “Bountiful,” another replica at the Maritime Museum, used in the film “Master and Commander – Far Side of the World.”
She has tall masts, plenty of sails (not always visible), a bell, a wheel and, as I learned, lots and lots of ropes called sheets. That’s right. The sheets are the ropes, not the sails, as might sound logical.
It seems nothing can happen on a ship without many people pulling on sheets. Sheets tie things securely. Sheets make sails go up and down. Sheets turn sails into and out of the wind. Sheets keep everything . . . well, shipshape.
The crew takes great care to keep the sheets neat and tidy. There is even a special way to coil a sheet on the deck. Pretty impressive!
So take a lesson from the Californian. Never leave without your equipment and make sure it’s always in ready-to-use condition.
I’m practicing coiling my sheets right now!