Dancing at sea

The rhythm of rope pulling (Lord Nelson, Pacific Ocean)

The rhythm of rope pulling (‘Lord Nelson’, Pacific Ocean)

When you’re sailing on a tall ship, it can sometimes be a “dance” just to stay upright! In the photo above, you can see how everyone hauling on that rope is moving in rhythm (apart from the chatting couple at the top of the photo, who appear to be sitting out this particular dance). We even have a special rope-hauling chant to keep us synchronised:”Two-Six-HEAVE!”

On one transatlantic voyage, we had an accomplished bagpiper among the crew. So one day, near 36.07N, 47.21W (between Bermuda and the Azores), there was Scottish dancing at the mainmast! In this shot, the couples are rehearsing the steps without music.

Dancing a reel (Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean)

Dancing a reel (‘Tenacious’, Atlantic Ocean)


8 thoughts on “Dancing at sea

    • Thank you Maggie! I was going to suggest you check out these two ships (anyone can sail on them, no experience needed), but they are UK-based and I see you live in Canada. Not exactly handy for you, but the site is if you’re curious.


    • This charity (Jubilee Sailing Trust in Southampton) is dedicated to mixing able-bodied and physically disabled people in its crews. I got involved in 1994, and have sailed with people aged from 16 to 90, able-bodied or not, such as blind, deaf, in a wheelchair, suffered strokes, etc. When you say “amazing”, it’s true! I’m sailing on their ship Tenacious in June, 2 weeks around Fiji. I helped to build Tenacious in the late 1990s, a memory I will always treasure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. anytime sailing is a great experience, those big square-riggers are in a class by themselves, there’s nothing like it!
    I’ll never forget my time sailing the schooner Ariadne and brigantine Phoenix. It’s so fantastic that they are giving more people the opportunity to sail these days.


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