I went to sea because my brothers did, and they went to sea at quite a young age. I could see life no other way at the time
Captain George Himmelman
In a world of tall ships and fishing banks, vessels were places of hard and often grueling labour. Work was intensely physical, the weather was harsh, and dan-gerous seas required tireless vigilance. For hardy crews the ships were not only demanding workplaces, but also homes away from home for long. periods at sea. Bunks and galley tables were among the only places of refuge. Food, tobacco, musical instruments, games, and tall tales provided meagre but welcome comfort and entertainment. Away for weeks or months at a time, sailors were closely knit groups who relied heavily on one another. Distinct traditions, lan-guage, and art forms emerged to define their unique and vibrant lifestyles.