Oh Sh*p! Climbing a Tall Ship Rig
Look at those sexy pirate ships cruising in the harbor! Aren’t they dreamy? Don’t you just want to put on your swashy buckles and dance to the hurdy gurdy on her deck with a cutlass between your teeth!?!
Of course you do!
Turns out, it takes a lot of work to make a schooner go. Yes, I know, I know, most boats are a lot of work, but this particular lady required some serious hauling.
Pride of Baltimore II is a topsail schooner, based out of–you guessed it–Baltimore, Maryland. I had the pleasure of going on one of her glorious sunset cruises in her home port, and because the crew knows me (and it helps that my husband was once her engineer), I got to help them furl the topsail.
Furl the tops’l. ARRGGHGHH!
It’s pirate speak for climb those wibbly shrouds about 55ft above sea-level (the deck is 50ft down), then shimmy out over nothing but air. When you get there, haul with all of your might on the heaviest canvas you’ve ever seen until they tell you to stop.
Was it scary? Yes. But more importantly it’s tiring. Hauling my own butt up the shrouds only to do more hard work!
Did your legs shake? Not on the way up, but those last 15 feet getting down, I suddenly started wiggling in my wame, and my knees thought I should have been done already.