Thursday, April 18, 2013

Leaving San Francisco in the Morning

John Sparrow, who will be leading our shanty sing in October, shared this fascinating video with us, produced by John Sabella from Port Angeles, WA. One of Sparrow's songs is in the documentary.


Leaving San Francisco in the Morning is a vignette from the documentary Sockeye and the Age of Sail 

About - "At the turn of the 20th Century, the Alaska Packers Association assembled the largest fleet of privately owned square rigged ships in the world to service the Alaska canned salmon trade. The vessels set sail for the north each spring. On departure day, the men gathered on the docks of San Francisco. It was a festive occasion. The Italians arrived with jugs of wine and the Scandinavians brought moonshine. Wives and sweethearts came to bid their men farewell. There were tears and laughter. Aboard ship the carpenters secured the anchors, locked the windlass, plugged the hawse pipes and fired up the donkey engine. It was important to have the donkey engine ready to handle the heavy work of raising sail in case the men were too drunk or too seasick. The voyage to Alaska was a difficult journey through uncharted waters often shrouded in fog and lashed by storms. Sometimes the ships took a coastwise route, calling on Puget Sound ports for lumber and coal, or ferrying supplies to and from the APA canneries at Point Roberts and Semiahamoo. Other ships bound for Alaska took the direct route through open ocean. For roughly a month, they beat northward against the westerly wind and current. Climb aboard, in this vignette from John Sabella's documentary Sockeye and the Age of Sail. View the full documentary on Pay Per View for as little as $4.95." -  John Sabella