A sailor’s life is a hard and rough one; and it is dangerous
A sailor is one who knows how to work in a sailing ship nowadays there are not sailing ships left, for their place has been taken by steam –ships. And an sailors would say that the crews who work on steamships are not sailors at all, and know nothing about seamanship, or the management of ships.
Before steams were invited, all ocean ships were sailing ships; that is, they were moved by the wind blowing were ships and schooners three-masted vessels; then two masted ships, called schooners and brings. In the navy largest were called men of war; smaller but faster vessels were cruisers, and there were many more.
These ships differed not only in size and the number of their masts, but also in the number and shape of their sails, and their ropes-that their rigging. And it took long experience for a sailors to know all these points, the names and uses of the hundreds of different ropes, and the dozens of different sails and how furl and unfurl them, and when.
The sailor too, had to know the sings of the weather so that the he might know when –storms were coming; and he had to study the charts and to know where it was safe to go-though this part of the work was the job of the captain and offices more than that of the common sailors. Nowadays the chief workers on a steamer are the engineers; the `sailors; have no rigging or sails to attend to, and so are not sailors in the old sense, though there are still ships in use.
A sailor’s life is a hard rough one; and it is dangerous. We landsmen have little idea what it must be to climb the tall masts in a storm to furl the sails, when the ship is rolling and pitching like a mad thing, the wind is icy cold, the rain is pouring down, and it is pitch dark. And sailors are always in danger of shipwreck or sinking in a storm, of fire, or of dying of thirst in calm.
Yet the sailor is a brave and jolly fellow. He often grumbles; but he loves the sea-life so much that he will not leave it. He sings lovely.
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