Climbing the shrouds of a tall ship

The Main Mast of a tall ship in the Bay of Biscay

The Main Mast of a tall ship in the Bay of Biscay

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What’s it like to climb up the shrouds to get to the yards of a sailing tall ship? Perhaps the video link in this post will be able to answer that question.

Considering I’ve been on the ship for the best part of a couple of months I don’t know why I didn’t make a video whilst I was in the Caribbean, where the seas were calm, the sun was shining and the temperatures were pleasant and I had plenty of time. The reason was – I didn’t think of it until we were on the second part of the leg from The Azores to the UK. After making the decision about a video the weather turned nasty and apart from grey skies and seas the movement on the ship was erratic.

An opportunity arose on the day we went past the western edge of the Bay of Biscay. Uncharacteristically for this time of year (the middle of March) it was like a mill pond and ideal for going up to the top for the sake of it. Also there was some sunshine and this was reflected in the colour of the sea.

As an explanation the video was taken on a small digital camera and I didn’t know what the results of my efforts would be until I came down. Not wanting to throw myself off the ship by using a hand to hold a camera I fixed up a makeshift camera holder which was attached to my chest. The intention was to give as close a view of what I would see myself.

I think it worked reasonably well. The video, together with the still pictures in the slideshow at the end, will hopefully give an impression of what it entails to climb about 100 feet above the deck to set or take in the sails.

I did plan to make other visits with the video but that intention hit the same sort of problems to Burns’s mouse.

Click here for a 15 minute, more or less, video taking you from the deck, climbing the shrouds to a platform about 100 feet up the main mast.

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