Sailing clippers of the second part of the 19th century were fast and, well over 100 years later, remain totally fascinating, not just as sailing ships but especially in terms of the skills, endurance and agility mariners of those days clearly demonstrate.
These merchant sailing ships were built to take on heavy seas and, sadly enough, they would loose men now and then because, as Alan Villiers stated in his fascinating commentary, “That’s the way life is; something is always going to be lost.”
The footage shows how adept mariners in those days were at climbing the tall rigging of tall ships on a moment’s notice and on heaving decks, totally undaunted, or so it seems.
What you see in this remarkable footageis the last of the sailing clippers operating on the high seas and rounding the Horn, before steamers gradually took over merchant shipping starting with the more profitable routes.
Visitors to this sailing blog who wish to learn more about 19th century clippers, sail-powered merchant ships and other historical data and displays are encouraged to visit online or, even better: in person, the well-known and amazing outdoor/indoor Mystic Seaport marine museum.