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Old Sep 07, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Bozeman, Montana, United States
Joined Aug 2003
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The captain of the "Lawson," the 7 masted schooner, took her to sea. The runs in light air scared the fish oil out of the crew and captain. When the ship rolled, the huge booms would try to come inboard. Even with preventer gear, they were hard to control. If one boom did manage to gybe, it would have likely taken the mast out as it fetched up on the other side. Many of the crew jumped ship at the first port. I'm not even sure if the captain completed the voyage. So, square-rigged ships were safer at sea, in some conditions, than large schooners.

One of the things that struck me as I sailed across the Atlantic on the HMBark Endeavour was how isolated seamen were prior to radios. If something went wrong, you were absolutely on your own (of course that is true today, but at least you might have gotten off a radio or ELB signal to let some passing airliner know someone has a problem). For this reason sea hazards were, in some respects, more of a consideration back then, I think.
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