A Midwesterner learns about sailing ships

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The past few weeks have conspired to finally make me learn the difference between a sail and a sheet.

I can hear many of you, dear readers, chuckling to yourselves right now, and I honestly don’t blame you.  I have been a maritime librarian for several years and still had no firm grasp on the workings of a sailing ship.  No understanding of it beyond the barest essentials needed to not make a fool of myself.  I have always exculpated myself by pointing to my Ohio roots (I am reminded of the donation the Library received yesterday from a New Mexico public library.  They gave us several maritime-related books, saying in their letter that there wasn’t much interest in them in the high desert).  I also blamed my work on the age of steam, though as I have written in these pages, I know little to nothing about steam-engines either.   Read more