Do you think your home, trailer or boat could ever be a living entity; like it knows how you’re treating it and has a soul? Some folks think of boats this way and especially older sailboats that need work and TLC. Tulum 5 (our 51 foot Aleutian Ketch) keeps slowly giving up her secrets as I put more and more work into her.
I think a sailboat knows how you’re treating her and whether you love her or not. That’s just me….you know I’m not a scientist or anything. We’ve been working hard to make major and minor improvements on Tulum as we go…and I think she knows it. In the middle of my windlass and painting projects (still unfinished), I stumbled upon another treasure in the bowels of the shelving in the front V-berth (girls room); that I swear had been taken apart several other times and I had never seen this treasure. As I was up there organizing it yet again….I stumbled upon small ball of rolled up yellow sunbrella carefully and lovingly wrapped in a plastic bag and sealed. Upon investigation, I couldn’t believe what I had found, since I’ve never seen one before. Sitting in front of me on the table was a complete and perfect Flag Semaphore set, with all the numbers and letters intact and carefully rolled and placed in their perfect spots. I mean, unless you’ve been in the Navy, Merchant Marine or gone to California Maritime Academy; have you ever seen one of these? I didn’t go to any of these schools, so I had never seen or touched a complete set of these either- Here’s the definition of what these are and do:
Flag semaphore (from the Greek σῆμα, sema, meaning sign and φέρω, phero, meaning to bear; altogether the sign-bearer) is the telegraphy system conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, rods, disks, paddles, or occasionally bare or gloved hands. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position. Semaphores were adopted and widely used (with hand-held flags replacing the mechanical arms of shutter semaphores) in the maritime world in the 19th century. It is still used during underway replenishment at sea and is acceptable for emergency communication in daylight or using lighted wands instead of flags, at night. (1)
So here’s a picture of what the complete kit looks like, unrolled:
Here’s what an individual flag and letter (G) looks like:
I’m sure these may have some value to someone but for now, they have great value to me because I found them on the boat and they’re staying on the boat. I’m shocked that this boat is still giving up secrets as I’ve been all through her, putting more and more work into her….but secrets are still being revealed. It’s like a cool boat treasure hunt here sometimes. Other times…..it’s wash the dishes, take the kids to school and take the trash up the dock.
Interestingly enough, I found this flag kit in the same location I had searched before and found the secrets revealed in the link below, give it a read-
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(1) Wikipedia (Internet). Accessed on 180918