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  • Squbrigg

    I'm finally getting brave enough to ask this. What does this sentence in your posts mean?

    "Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, I'd like to pipe: "Up Spirits" or "Splice the Main Brace" .....................one more time."

    I'm guessing 'pipe' is either bag pipes or singing?

    I'm not sure what 'standing part of the fore sheet " is.. but I'm guessing its got something to do with a ship?

    Curiousity is getting to me..

  • #2
    Re: Squbrigg

    I'd be happy to tell you Marci.

    A "pipe" is a call....made with a bosuns pipe or whistle...only the whistle's sound can be controlled and the pitch made high or low, by shaping your hand. They used the bosuns pipe, in the Royal Navy back in the days of sail, and merchant ships used them some and they still do. The Royal Canadian Navy uses them as well, that is where I learned to use one, and still have it and use it. (Use to call my girls when they were out playing, or to get everyone's attention at my daughters wedding!) The pipe can throw sound much further than voice and be heard over the noise of wind or a storm when a voice can't.

    The different combinations of high and low pitches were combined to issue orders.....you would awake to "Awake, awake, awakie" piped, "Still" to get all hands to stand at attention, "Carry on" to continue as before, and many others for sail handling, action stations, or....my own favorites...."Up Spirits" or " Splice the Main Brace". Those two are for the commands to issue "grog"....rum....to the sailors. The daily "tot" was issued at noon, 2 1/2 oz of black Navy rum, put you in a good mood for the afternoon's work! "Splice the Main Brace" was a term they used for special occasions that the Captain of the ship wanted to reward the men or recognize a special occasion. For example: the King's/Queen's Birthday, or after a heavy battle.

    The U.S. Navy is a "dry" navy, so they don't issue tots, and haven't for a hundred years or so. The RN stopped the tot issue in 1970 and the RCN in 1971.....and I remember my last tot like it was yesterday!!!

    Where was I? Oh yes.....the last part....."Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore-sheet".....in the days of sail, on a ship were three masts (poles sticking up from the deck). Each mast had several yards (poles crossways on the masts), that the sails were lashed to. To control the sails, to make the ship go in the direction you wanted to go with the help of the wind, they would angle the yards to the wind to get the most power from it. To turn those yards, you use braces and sheets (ropes tied to the end of the yard and to the ships side). Loose one side, tighten the opposite. Where the fore sheet (forward mast in the ship) came aboard the ship, was almost in the middle of the ship (amidships) and this being the widest part, was where they gathered all hands for ceremonies.....like burial at sea. The dead could not be kept aboard, because of disease, so the bodies were inturned at sea, slipped over the side of the ship.....at that part of the ship! It's an old navy saying.

    So it means.....before I die, I'd like to blow my bosuns pipe once more time and have a drink, before they return me to the sea for my final rest.

    Sorry to be so long winded....but there it is!

    Bob
    Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Squbrigg

      PS....here's a photo of a "pipe". The word is also used for the act of using the pipe. The old term the Brits also used was "Spithead Nightengales"....for the noise they would all make when several were being used below decks at the same time or the fleet was in and you could hear each other ships calls.

      Sorry....more useless information on the lore of the sea from an old sailor.

      Bob
      Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Squbrigg

        Very interesting information. Thanks for sharing. I was almost correct in my interpreatation. Thanks again.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Squbrigg

          WOW.. that HAD to have been one of the best things I've read in a long time. I'm sooo glad I asked and you were detailed with an answer. Thank you Thank you.

          With this new information it makes your ships come alive even more for me.

          I'm going back up to read it again. Thank you Squbrigg.

          PS. I can assume your handle here goes along in the same theme?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Squbrigg

            That was great! TOM H
            http://beginnerscarvingcorner.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Squbrigg

              Glad you enjoyed the explanation Marci and all. The handle Squbrigg is a short form of my last name and does have nautical connotations.....I don't seem to be able to escape the sea connections even if I wanted to! The name Squarebriggs is English (as far as we can determine) and my research has found it was once Squarebridge, changed in the 1880's in Prince Edward Island. Prior to that family legand has it as being changed from Squarerigger, but I haven't been able to find confirmation documented in England yet.

              I use the present name in my aviar....my own interpitation.....a "Square" rigged "Brig". That has been my personal logo for many years. I love talking....... ....always did, and it is my pleasure to pass along any bits of sea lore I can. Ships and the sea have been my passion since I was a wee one, and I have always fed that passion by first running off to go to sea right out of school, then by reading, carving, ship modelling, and continuing the favorite skill a sailor posesses.....telling tales.

              Bob
              Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Squbrigg

                Originally posted by Marci MN
                WOW.. that HAD to have been one of the best things I've read in a long time. I'm sooo glad I asked and you were detailed with an answer. Thank you Thank you.

                With this new information it makes your ships come alive even more for me.

                I'm going back up to read it again. Thank you Squbrigg.

                PS. I can assume your handle here goes along in the same theme?
                Yah no doubt, I not only can picture Bob at his bench making ships, but manning the wheel and fighting salt spray as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Squbrigg

                  Fascinating. I love the sea and live right close to a candian fjord on the west coast, but am completely useless in a boat. The one time I tried to bail my brother's punt out, I darn near drowned. Please, don't ask.

                  I also like trying to trace how names evolve and what it says about distant ancestors.

                  Now, I'm no expert, but wasn't a bridge at one time considered rigging? In Olde Ainglande, at least? Perhaps the switch in your family name is simply the way the language drifts around.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Squbrigg

                    Good point Whitecree....it sure did drift! I'd love to know the truth of it, and tried to research back, but ran into a problem over in Merry Olde England, their chruch and civic records aren't on line and I'm unable to travel that far. Would love to be able to go over for a summer and search the records available in person. I know I'd find them.....I can be a bloodhound on things. It is interesting how thihgs change.

                    Know the West Coast some, served there back in 1973, took a ship out via the Panama Canal to Esquimalt, BC and stayed for a few months. Loved it out there, such beauty, but couldn't get the bride to move out. Where are you located on the coast?

                    Bob
                    Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Squbrigg

                      That does bring back memories Bob! As for the U.S. Navy, we still used bos'n pipes when I was in....of course thats when Noah was the first mate! lol, no rum...alas and a bridge on our ship was where the captain was most of the time and where the ships steering was. I was on a carrier and our "bridge" was about 3 stories off the flight deck which was ?? I don't remember off the water.....way up there ha ha........as I got up to the catwalk to go into the bridge, I got hit in the face with spray from a wave that came over the bow.............thats what you call "high water"! Cheers
                      "Lif iz lik a box "o" choc lets, ya nevr kno whut yull git!"

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                      • #12
                        Re: Squbrigg

                        Originally posted by squbrigg
                        Know the West Coast some, served there back in 1973, took a ship out via the Panama Canal to Esquimalt, BC and stayed for a few months. Loved it out there, such beauty, but couldn't get the bride to move out. Where are you located on the coast?

                        Bob
                        I'm right up in the Douglas Channel - or is it the Gardiner? I'm always mixing those two up. If you're ever out in a boat with me, for heaven's sake, don't let me navigate!

                        Are you familiar with the aluminum smelting company ALCAN? I live just outside of the tiny, one-horse town of Kitimat.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Squbrigg

                          Ya, I know where Kitamat is, the smelter and a pulp mill too? Our company had a mill in Prince Rupert at one time I believe. That's beautiful country!!! I never got up quite that far in my days out there, we sailed up the Strait of Georgia, but only as far as Comox and back to Esquimalt. Ship I was on was named after a river up that way.....H.M.C.S. Kootenay.

                          Long time ago now!!!

                          Bob
                          Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

                          Comment

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