Traditions and ceremonies

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Guillermo, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    I wrongly used the french word 'rhum' instead of the english one 'rum'

    But... is not 'Rhum' island as a matter of fact named 'Rum' island?
    http://www.scotland-inverness.co.uk/small-is.htm :confused:

    Anyhow, whatever the name, the spanish folks surviving the massacre of the Spanish Armada were quite clever interbreeding with the girls of the islands. We have that spanish saying: "El muerto al hoyo y el vivo al bollo!" (The death one to the hole and the live one to the 'hole' ;) )

    Cheers.


    Post scriptum
    Now I realize!...."It is thought that George Bullough changed the island's original Gaelic name from Rum to Rhum because he didn't want the island associated with the alcholic drink and it was then changed back to its original name in 1991 by the then Nature Conservancy Council."
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  2. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Not your fault Guillermo. You fell into an evil English interpretation of the island's name. (I'm an Outer hebrides man myself - the island of Barra) where we've always refered to the Island of Rhum/Rum as 'Ruamhair' - a soft Rhoomha - The island of diggable peat.
    As you see, nothing to do with English sensibilities or the sparkling spirit. Simply soggy crofting fuel. Used to be a good place to 'catch' nocturnal venison.
    As I see from your 'reference page' much has changed (for the worst) among the Small Isles - but I should imagine still worth a visit by adventurous boaties/yachtsmen. In fact I would say far superior to the Greek Islands (apart from the constant rain, gales, whirlpools and tidal rips). Muck was the only 'tricky' approach to the unwary. From half a mile off come in from the west, line up the roof ridge of the farmhouse (prominent white building) with a prominent white painted rock on the hillside. Gives a deep water passage about one hundred yards wide. Do not deviate. Nasty sharp things lurk below even at high tide. Good anchorage in the small bay.
    Canna has a deepwater 'dogleg' channel between low cliffs whose walls are daubed with about a thousand names of previous sailing visitors (my own among them - tradition). The main house, once home of noted Scots author John Lorne Campbell contains a wall-length mural done in carved mutton bone (done by the French prisoners of war during the Napoleonic affair).
    Eigg, in my day was owned by Keith Schellenberg - son of the Hitler henchman. But a pleasant chap. believe he once stood for the English Parliament, but failed to get in. The Sgurr at the end of the island contains the cave in which the raiding Campbells roasted several dozen of the local MacDonalds alive. (But that was custom of the day). Good mooring on the west side, but leave space for the visiting ferry. A visit thoroughly recommended. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  3. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Very interesting reading to be found on mast step coins. Seems to be a tradition started by the Romans.

    I can no longer find the source, but the way I learned it was that the coin should be silver, as a tribute to Neptune to ask for the ship's protection. No coin, or a copper coin should bring the ship bad luck. It shows that the owner had little or no respect for the sea gods. A gold coin should also bring bad luck; If the owner could afford a gold coin, it meant that they did not spend as much as they could have in the ship's construction and are trying to bribe the gods into protecting a ship not built as well as it could have been. The silver coin shows proper respect and indicates that the gold was spent making the ship sound ...

    My mast has a silver coin minted in the year of my birth under the mast. :D

    On earrings:
    Earrings are thought to improve vision. This is supported somewhat by the acupuncture sights in the ear lobe to cure poor vision. The side the earring was worn on was the side towards Cape Horn when you rounded. West > East = earring in left ear. East> West = earring in right ear.
     
  4. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    The rationale for wearing earrings was far more basic round our way. It was just a way to make sure that if a drowned sailor was washed ashore, there was always enough 'money' on him to get a proper funeral and not have the disgrace of being buried in a pauper's grave.
     
  5. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Unless of course you went round all 'aback' then you really where up '**** creek' as the saying goes! Now the original "**** Creek" is believed to have been Stonehouse Creek in Plymouth (Well actually it was at the time Stonehouse Town, but that's another story!) It was used by the residents as the local sewer so was a little bit smelly! Near the Head of the Creek was the Old Naval Hospital of Stonehouse, boats from the Naval Fleet were rowed up the (smelly) creek to the hospital with the wounded onboard, who because of various things had little chance of returning to the fleet after being in the Naval Hospital - thus the term (In Britain at least) of "being up **** creek" came to mean you were in big trouble!!

    Are ye really from Barra? Bergalia, would explain the madness in you! 'Tis said by all the 'ithers from that strange Northern Land - that their all mad in Barra - I've met a few and by God they are right! The rest of the Western Islanders are not to far behind them (Church of the 'Wee Free' you see!) but them fra' Barra certainly have the edge!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  6. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    The idea of the 'stitch thro' the nose' was that in the old days having a doctor onboard to certify someone as dead was as rare as Rocking horse poo! (Still is but with The state of modern Refrigeration you can keep the 'body' until you get to port - you couldn't then, the smell see!) so the idea was that as the nose (the middle bit between the nostrils) was one of the tenderest parts of the body the 'sailmaker' would shove his last stitch though there - if there was a chance of the 'body' beeing alive it would move then!! mind you from some small experience as the job entailled some liberal use of alcohol refreshments (was the only way you'd get a 'volunteer' to sew up the body! Well actually you made a bag, pushed the body inside with the weights (traditionally cannon balls later fire bars from the boiler) at his feet then after liberally plying the 'sailmaker' with Rum, he put a few 'homeward bounders' into the top of the bag to finish the job, and if he was sober enough to find it the last one went through the nose - unless you had a Doctor to certify death! then up on a board on the guard rail flag over it (tied inboard) Quicky service by the skipper - ther's actually the proscribed all faiths Christian version in the British "Ship Captains Medical Guide" Sensible place to put it when you think about it! Tip the board, out slides the bag and body, splash! Make sure it sinks (hell on if it don't!!) and carry on about your business (watch keepers back on watch, cooks to the galley everybody else to the bar!!!!:cool:
     
  7. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

     
  8. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Bi 'ithers', Walrus, I assume you mean those palid creatures from Barra's offshore islands, Eire, the Inner Hebrides, Shetland, Orkney, and that larger lump which contains England, Wales, and Scotland....
    But no, it's not true. Only the MacNeil's are mad...we other three families are sane, (Falls sideways and starts biting carpet...) :rolleyes:
     
  9. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    one of my traditions ,,is to pour a beer out on the ground ,,,,,for the ones who cant be here with us ,to celebrate......this is for those lost at sea ,,,,and fellow soldiers,,,,,,,,,,longliner
     
  10. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    aND WE DO RELY ON THINGS LIKE WEVVERFAXES
    In the Days Of Sail, sailors actually built up this knowledge from observations

    so Adage
    Mackeral Skies and mares tails,
    Makes tell ships shorten sails
    When the wind turns again the sun, don't you trust er for back she'll run
    I have tried to observe this,

    Down under you never take a banana aboard, that is if you want to catch fish
     
  11. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    mares tails mean rain and fowl weather,,I think a west wind means the same,,,longliner,,,this will tell who the old sailers are,,,,,,,
     
  12. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Come on Lazyjack - it's nothing to do with the lack of catching fish - it's coz you bloody Queenslanders have put the price of bananas well beyond the pocket of the honest working New South Walians....
    :(
     
  13. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Reminds me of Walrus' reply when his doctor observed him in a spasm of violent twitching: 'Do you drink much ?' - "No I spill most of it on the floor...."
    :p
     
  14. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    Wot do you still take (chickens aboard) you did say fowl wevver?
    and I,m not a flamin' qlder I just happen to be stuck here for awhile, boatless that is
     

  15. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    yes I have taken chickens on board,,and I know what ya mean being stuck and all,,longliner
     
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