With the Azores fast approaching, I find myself writing this blog aboard for the last time. It has been an immense trip, many thousands of miles passing some of the most remote places – but this is not yet the time for reflection. There are jobs to do!
Lately, replacing ratlines has kept me busy. These are the rope step ladders at the top of the masts, used to ascend to the topgallant and royal sails, and must be kept in the finest working order to assure climbing aloft remains safe. The task requires making an eye splice at either end of the rope, splicing a piece of twine into that eye, and making a square seizing to secure the rope to the shrouds. Or to describe it without the sailing jargon, fiddling with tiny bits of twine while curled around a ladder twenty metres above the deck. It is precise work, for the ropes need to be tightly secured at exact lengths, and the challenge of achieving this while the ship rolls and pitches is an enjoyable one.
We have also enjoyed stitching lessons from the bosun