In The Rigging
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The volunteer crew of the Star of India is dedicated to preserving the traditions of the tall ship sailor. They work many hours learning the skills to qualify as sailing crew, including setting and dousing sails, furling, knot-tying, climbing aloft, proper use of the knife and spike.

This picture captures the crew aloft, in the process of furling the sail. Standing on a rope (the footrope), with everything moving, lifting the weight of the sail with its attached hardware (block and tackle, lines), the power of the wind still filling the canvas; lifting, rolling, tucking the expanse of the sail until it will fit neatly across the top of the yard, then securing it in place with "gaskets", all the while holding on tightly (one hand for the ship, one hand for yourself). The moment the tightly rolled sail is lifted to the top of the yard is both exhilarating and frightening, for as you heave this bundle to the top of the yard, the sail and the shift in weight try to toss you from aloft. You must give your full attention to the task at hand.

If you remember to look around you while doing all this, you know why you are here. The sea has called to you like the many sailors before. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ By Rev. Diane Russell

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