I was intrigued to see, downstream from Blue Mistress, two masts of a large schooner towering over the normal view.
A phone call – she is the Eleonora E recently out of Cowes bound for the Mediterranean. She has now sailed.
The coincidence I could not ignore? Although this is a magnificent yacht rather than a merchant vessel, masts of this height would have been a common sight in the period mentioned in my three previous posts. The rigging would have been heavier and the British schooner captains preferred square-rigged topsails on the foremast, giving them extra sail and greater versatility in running before the wind – particularly useful in the weathers and tides around the British Isles.
Basil Greenhill wrote the definitive description of The Merchant Schoooners. I recommend his book.
(Image by Bill Whateley)