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Spanning - Whales and Whaling pictures 30

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On whalers as other sailing ships, ropework was an ever present and important part of shipboard life particularly during quieter periods. Here a sailor is splicing a rope onto an iron whaling harpoon. The pointed implement in his hand is a tool that opens up the twisted rope allowing the interweaving of the unwound end of another piece of rope.

A splice so formed is stronger than a knot, but much more time consuming a join to make in rope.

 

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