torstai 2. toukokuuta 2013

Erinomainen purjehtija

Amerikkalainen Maturin Murray Ballou matkaili Euroopassa 1880-luvun alkupuolella. Hän teki Suomessa tavanomaiset pysäykset Turussa ja Helsingissä matkallaan Tukholmasta Pietariin. Kuvaus kaupungeistamme kirjoissa  Due North or Glimpses of Scandinavia and Russia (1887) ja Foot-prints of Travel; Or, Journeyings in Many Lands (1889) on perin tavanomaista.

Lukuun ottamatta Kauppatorin kalasataman kuvausta, jonka yhteydessä Ballou ihailee naisen purjehduskykyjä seuraavasti:
While we stood watching the busy scene on and near the wharves, a fishing-boat of about twenty tons, with two masts supporting fore and aft sails and a fore-stay-sail, was just getting under way outward bound. The boat contained a couple of lads and a middle-aged woman, who held the sheet of the mainsail as she sat beside the tiller. The little craft had just fairly laid her course close-hauled towards the mouth of the bay, and was hardly a quarter of a mile from the dock when one of the sudden squalls so common in this region, accompanied by  heavy rain, came down upon the craft like a flash, driving her lee gunwales for a moment quite under water. The main sheet was instantly let go, so also with the fore and stay sails, and the boat promptly brought to the wind, while the woman at the helm issued one or two orders to her boy-crew which were instantly obeyed. Ten minutes later, under a close-reefed foresail, the boat had taken the wind upon the opposite tack and was scudding into the shelter of the dock, where she was properly made fast and her sails quietly furled to await the advent of more favorable weather. No experienced seaman could have managed the boat better under the circumstances than did this woman.
Itse en ymmärrä purjehduksesta mitään enkä täten kuvauksesta muuta kuin viimeisen lauseen. Alla SLS:n Helsinki-setistä otos Kauppatorin rannasta vuonna 1906.

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