Lay Aloft! Climbing the foremast of USS Constitution

Which, wow, that’s a fair bit of cordage involved.


The caption from YouTube:

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (Oct. 29, 2014) Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Pablo Solano climbs to the top of USS Constitution’s foremast during the crew’s final climbing evolution prior to Constitution being de-rigged in preparation for her entry into dry dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard scheduled for spring 2015.

I always get a tad queasy and dizzy watching stuff like this. Do note that our cameraman climbs the foremast, and the foretopmast, up to the crosstrees, but doesn’t climb the next segment, up the foretopgallant. Which, when making sail in the old days, not only would our sailor climb that, he’d be accompanied by quite a few others. And no safety harnesses back then. And while the weather this day in Charlestown was just about perfect, many a time sailors laid aloft in less than pleasant conditions. At night.

Yo ho, no wonder a bottle of rum was needed for the sailor’s life!

5 thoughts on “Lay Aloft! Climbing the foremast of USS Constitution”

  1. Not just climb all the way, but expected to scamper right up there, as fast as possible.

  2. I wondered all the way through the first level if he was going to take the “lubber hole” and he sure did. Looks like they have Stephen making that video…

    When I visited the Constitution a few years ago, my daughter asked the E3 if she could bring the ship’s bell. Of course, he apparently can’t say no to a cute teenage girl since it was coming up on three bells. He didn’t bother to explain how that should sound. I tried to sound it out for her, but the “ding-ding….ding” came out as “ding, ding, ding” and the Seaman actually got a little put out that she rang it incorrectly. Punk. Shouldn’t be agreeing to what cute teenage girls ask for. I thought I was going to have to scuff him up a bit.

    1. The young E-3 me would have wanted to shun the lubber hole. The CoG* me is a tad more sympathetic about it. And isn’t the improper ringing of the ship’s bell a failure to train and lead on your part?

      *Crotchety Old Guy.

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