Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Over the Yardarm


The picture above c1920, comes from The State Library of Victoria, and shows sailors ‘high up in the rigging’ of The Garthsnaid. That’s all we know I’m afraid, but I thought it would serve as my contribution for this week’s Sepia Saturday, where the photo prompt shows some men enjoying a rather lofty vantage point and we are encouraged to think of the concept of danger.

 

By chance two other items led me to the Garthsnaid picture. The wonderful Europeana blog reminded us that this week was the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Eiffel Tower, and pointed us in the direction  of these quite hair-raising pictures of men working on its painting. I’m away next week so I’ve made a quartet of photographs as suggested by the prompt for Sepia Saturday number 223 to cover both weeks.



Then, in today’s newspaper I read that the SS Great Britain at Bristol Docks, was inviting visitors to experience life as a Victorian seaman and take a walk up the rigging. I can’t show the picture of course but follow the link to Climb the Yardarm and you will see a scary enough photograph of a brave soul dressed as Isamabard Kingdom Brunel, the designer of the ship, doing just that. You can find out all about it on the Bristol Culture web page and read about a poor sailor named Ramsay Grey who fell from the one of the ‘yards' in 1852. The captain decided that the boat was going too fast and the sea conditions meant that a boat could not be sent to rescue him putting other lives at risk. Now that is scary.

Well the sun is over the yardarm so it must be time for the first alcoholic drink of the day. If you don’t mind I’ll skip the issue of rum the common sailor was doled out (watered down) and go for a gin and tonic instead. Cheers!

18 comments:

  1. Well done - both for this week & next, though all I can say about either is "Aiii-yiii". Those guys were brave souls & no lie! And 'Climb the Yardarm' was fun. I wonder how many will take up the offer?

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  2. There was a British man overboard in a round the world yacht race this week. Luckily he was rescued.

    Here is a YouTube video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPmNo-jo4tg

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  3. The photo of the men in the rigging of the Garthsnaid looks terrifying, not as much for the height of the spar, but for the angle at which they are leaning and the height of those waves.

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  4. You've taken your blog title to new heights!
    I'm surprised that Brett didn't work out the photographer's camera angle. That's what worries me!

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  5. So the photographer must have been high up on another mast! And carried his camera equipment up as well. Scary!

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  6. Everything on those ships must be slippery from the spray etc - that makes the first photo all the more amazing

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  7. Very good Yardarms!! I am always astonished by those images of workmen in the old days up so high without safety equipment. I imagine they took pride in not needing any.

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  8. Hello:

    We find it so amazing that men, for we think that it was never women, could scale rigging in such a way and often in the worst of conditions. Utterly terrifying, or so we think.

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  9. "... encouraged to think of the concept of danger" -- mission accomplished!

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  10. I feel sick just looking at those Eiffel Tower shots - could never do it in the flesh, and also very clever to do the collage like that.

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  11. The SS Great Britain may be in the Bristol dry dock but there is no way I would climb the rigging. The photographer of the first ship must have been up another mast - how did he hold the camera steady?

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  12. I remember my mother used to be afraid of heights while my sister and I were fearless. Somewhere along the way, the fear crept in.

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  13. I think I would not dare climbing up to the yardarm (let alone climbing the Eiffel Tower). While I'm writing this the sun is over the yardarm, but I don't think I'm allowed to drink rum (pure or doled out) while I'm at work (I wouldn't mind a Cuba Libre right now).

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  14. I wouldn't want to do ANY of those jobs. Scary.

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  15. Great photographs of fearless sailors and riggers alike, but some certainly do lose their footing and fall to their deaths. As Bookbook says, the ship photographer must have been in some degree of danger himself!

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  16. I couldn't do it, go out on a limb like that.

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  17. Love it. There ought to be a special prize for covering two weeks with linked images. I will get me fellow Sepia Administrator to award you a prize - oh hang on, that's you. The highest I have ever been on a boat is the 15th Deck, but that wasn't very dangerous. Hope you are having a good break.

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  18. Such a fun ride! I am happy to see that Jerry posted your wonderful blog in his Sunday Drive, which is where I first came across him some time back. He's always got interesting things, and he posts other fantastic and worthwhile blogs to check out!

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