Cool video of square rigged ship sailing around Cape Horn
This is not my usual kind of post.
One of my favorite books is “Two Years Before the Mast,” by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. It is an early example of the kind of travel writing that later authors like Paul Theroux, John Muir, Bill Bryson, and Stuart Stevens (to name a rather completely arbitrarily chosen few) would make popular. Two Years Before the Mast was popular in its day because it was one of the few sources of information available about the passage to San Francisco and California and what it was like during the California gold rush circa 1849.
One of the things about the book that struck me most was the descriptions of all the tasks the sailors were constantly performing. It’s one thing to try to visualize these things in your mind with only a sketchy knowledge of the various parts of a square-rigged sailing ship, and quite another to see actual period film, of these things. That’s right film as in motion pictures. Well, they aren’t actually from the 1800s, when Dana sailed, but they are from 1929, and they are taken from on board a massive square rigged sailing ship going around Cape Horn, and taken by a working sailor, Irving Johnson. Awesome stuff for any fan of Two Years Before the Mast.
~30 minute video, “Around Cape Horn”… holy shit.
Here’s the google video link http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1184583933122407708&hl=en in case you’d rather watch it that way instead of embedded here.