Age of sail

A 12 minute video worth sharing with your kids. It makes me long for those old days when ships were made of wood, and men of iron.

There was a time before our time,
It will not come again,
When the best ships still were wooden ships
But the men were iron men.
From Stonington to Kennebunk
The Yankee hammers plied
To build the clippers of the wave
That were New England’s pride.

The “Flying Cloud,” the “Northern Light,”
The “Sovereign of the Seas”–
There was salt music in the blood
That thought of names like these.

“Sea Witch,” “Red Jacket,” “Golden Age,”
And “Chariot of Fame,”
The whole world gaped to look at them
Before the steamship came.

Their cargoes were of tea and gold,
Their bows a cutting blade;
And, on the bridge, the skippers walked,
Lords of the China trade.

The skippers with the little beards
And the New England drawl,
Who knew Hong Kong and Marblehead
And the Pole Star over all.

Stately as churches, swift as gulls,
They trod the oceans, then
No man had seen such ships before
And none will see again.

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I suddenly got an urge to re-read The Last Grain Race.

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There is something magical about the time when you have hoisted the main and bear away. You cut the donk and unroll the genoa. The wind fills the sails, the rig tightens and she suddenly stiffens, surging forward as you sheet in. What was an intimate floating object becomes a wild creature of the wind and water at your command ready to do as you ask.

I recommend it to everyone to try at least once.

I recognized Ian mcshanes voice immediately but feel it would have benefitted from him channeling a bit of his Al Swaringen character from deadwood to be a convincing drunk old sailor. Not enough swearing into the wind or lack thereof