Crew members of the 19th century barque “James Craig” removing the headsails from their stowage and preparing the rigging.
On a large tall ship like this the bowsprit is a considerable length and has several forestays attached. When not in use the headsails are stowed by being tied onto the bowsprit. The crew must then work out on the bowsprit to stow or prepare the sails.
To minimise the risk of the bowsprit (and any crew working on it) being buried in large waves, the bowsprit is normally angled upwards from the horizontal.
The bowsprit has an ominous nickname “widowmaker”; maintaining the headsails upon the bowsprit was very dangerous business, especially on rough or stormy seas.
Featured 03/15/11 in Colour Me Nothing http://www.redbubble.com/groups/colour-me-nothing Group
Featured 03/27/11 in Hobart Tasmania http://www.redbubble.com/groups/hobart-tasmania Group
Top Ten Winner in Colour Me Nothing http://www.redbubble.com/groups/colour-me-nothing/challenges/32769-working Challenge
Taken with Panasonic Lumic DMC-FH1 point & shoot at Hobart, Tasmania on 18 February 2011.