View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:28 am

Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
Posts: 2747
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Post Midshipmen
I have taken this from the United Service Journal, Volume 3, 1830.

It is from a continuing contribution from an HEIC officer who joined the company shortly before he became fifteen.



This was the very ship I had ever seen, consequently I had hitherto formed but a very imperfect, idea of the service or way of life of a sailor. At first, I by no means relished those practical parts of the duty peculiar to midshipmen in the Company's service, the frequent mounting aloft to box about the mizen top-gallant-yard, or the mizen-top-sail; above all, , those confounded futtock-shrouds, by which one remains so unnaturally suspended, like a spider, between heaven and earth, puzzled me exceedingly ; and for a few days, until quizzed out of it, I was fain like the other lubbers, to take the shorter and more easy road, and creep into the top through Lubber's Hole. However, I was soon a match for the most adventurous of my young messmates; and one evening, not long after I joined the ship, I was very near paying dearly for my impudence while vying with these in feats of agility.

As usual with youngsters on first joining a ship until the novelty is exhausted, we had been chasing each other up and down the rigging, successfully scaling every mast in the ship, from the mizen-peak to the fore-top-gallant-mast, when as a finale, I must needs take it into my head to descend from the fore -top-mast-head by the stay : this would have been easy enough, had not the stay, which I was not aware of, been recently tarred. I had only proceeded a few feet, when I would have given worlds to get back, , but this was now as impracticable as to proceed. It being nearly dark, and few persons on deck, no one witnessed my perilous situation, and I dreaded too much the ridicule of my companions to call out for assistance, and which I felt, moreover, it would be difficult to afford me.

Thus suspended, eighty feet above the deck, in almost an inverted position, my hands and feet alternately glued to the stay, from which it required every time a fresh effort to release them, I persevered until I became almost exhausted, and expected every moment to be obliged to forego my hold, and to be dashed to pieces. At length, by the most painful exertions and perseverance, I reached the bowsprit, and felt like a fellow reprieved; and in future my mounting ambition was tempered with a little more prudence ..... "

- Mil -
aka Mary ....

Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:13 pm
Profile YIM
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 1 post ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.