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Tie up your bonnets!


Louie da fly
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I've seen this picture of the Santa Caterina do Monto Sinai (c. 1520) so many times but only just really had the penny drop.

 

The Mainsail and bonnets have letters of the alphabet written on them. If I'd thought about it at all it was that it was like the annotated pictures of ships from the 17th century with each number telling you what part of the ship/rigging it was.

 

But now I think about it I realize it was for the crew to know which way to attach the bonnets to the course - like when you make a cardboard figure - join tab A to slot A, tab B to slot B etc.

 

Simple when you think about it, but it's stared me in the face all this time without me realizing.

 

Steven 

post-1425-0-51100000-1450922002_thumb.jpg

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Oh, well spotted jbshan! I hadn't thought to put the letters together to make words. Makes sense, though. It becomes an easily remembered mnemonic for the sailors to use - assuming at least some of them could read. But even if not, they just had to match the letters up.

 

Steven

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