Saturday, June 23, 2012

Attraction to the Age of Sail

I was asked recently what it was about he Age of Sail which attracted me.

There are several things. Firstly the Age of Sail was a time of great change and upheaval, and the time of glorious sea battles. This period coincided with the era of revolutions which swept France, America and some of the islands of the West Indies. But mainly I find the period of the Age of Sail one of poignancy for it saw the demise of the glorious days of wooden fighting ships.

From Henry Vlll time, British sailors had gone to sea in wooden ships and in the late 1700s the finest men of war, such as HMS Victory, were being constructed in dockyards along the English coast.

But after Trafalgar, the death knell for such vessels sounded. The thrum of wind in rigging was replaced by the hiss of steam, and as the Age of Sail died, so did the magic which was portrayed by the heroes.
It is the magic of adventure associated with the era of fighting ships which appeals to me.

Pics: HM Bark Endeavour sails into Hobart (2012)
Picture of Henry Vlll's ship Mary Rose
Gund eck on HMS Victory

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