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View Diary: U.S.S. Constitution (91 comments)

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  •  Here's how elite riggers were (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, Quicklund, ek hornbeck

    Matthew Walker was a master rigger in the Royal Navy. Multiple witnesses saw him stab another sailor to death in a barroom fight. The judge, a former Sea Captain, told Walker that, if he could tie a knot that the judge could neither tie nor untie, he would go free. He called for 10 fathoms of hawser to be brought to his cell. In the morning he presented the judge with an intact 10 fathoms of hawser with a knot in the middle, 30 ft from each end, that doubled the thickness of the  line, reversed the direction of the lay, tripled the number of turns and appeared to have sprung magically in its location. The judge freed him. According to Ashley's Book of Knots, the Matthew Walker knot is one of only two named for its creator. Until the close of the age of sail it was the traditional stopper knot in the halyards for top sails and t'gallants.  

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 05:19:16 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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