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Halcyon Climbs Aloft

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 26, 2014




Replicating battle sails with our historical member vessels certainly makes for an exciting time during the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®! From maneuvering around “enemy” vessels on the water to climbing aloft and furling sail at the dock, there are lots of adventures to be had. Halcyon was able to join the fun last Saturday during Tall Ships Festival LA 2014. Here’s what she has to say…


Sailing on fore and aft rigged schooners, you never really have good reasons to go aloft, especially when you need to clean up the deck after a sail. But that’s different when sailing on a brigantine.

Yesterday was my first time sailing on Brigantine Irving Johnson. I joined the crew on the foredeck to help pass the headsails, while we were at war with Exy Johnson and Spirit of Dana Point. With no casualties, of course, we arrived at the dock to drop off some very thrilled passengers. From there, as we all know, it’s time to clean up the deck.

I went around the deck to help coil and hang as many lines as I possibly could; while that was going on, I noticed about 5 crew members donning safety harnesses to go aloft to furl sails. The captain asked me if I wanted to go join the crew aloft, but I was a bit hesitant at first, mainly because I’ve never been aloft on a brigantine before. After a very informative safety speech, the captain escorted me up the fore shrouds to join the crew. When it came to the part where I had to step out onto the yards I was shaking, but after taking a deep breath and clipping in I felt perfectly fine and capable of handling the task in front of me.

– Halcyon Spooner, Tall Ships America Intern




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