Autolycus in the South China Sea. Those were the days - when I was still fit enough to shin up the mast after coming off watch to take photographs.

As a middy I sailed with one Old Man who insisted that we climb the mast and kiss the truck every morning before breakfast. For a bit of variation we used to get down by sliding down the shrouds and sometimes, when we felt really cocky, we used to reverse the process by swarming up the shrouds and coming down via the ladder. What Health and Safety legislation would have to say about that nowadays I shudder to think!

Might as well take a picture facing the other way whilst you're up there.

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