Avast, landlubbers!

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Michelle Walsh, Assistant Curator Maritime History, writes about a recently unpacked object from the reserve collection:-

Whilst in our store last week I unpacked a rather fabulous object from the collection: an asymmetrical spinnaker sail from the Opera class sailing dinghy Valkyrie. All the boats in this class are named after a different opera, Valkyrie being named after Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), second of the four operas that form the cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

As you can see, this is no ordinary sail and inspired me to remind everyone that today is ‘International Talk Like A Pirate Day’!

Skull flag

Spinnaker sail

So forget your everyday hellos and how do you dos and begin your day with ‘ahoy there!’ perhaps greet colleagues with an ‘avast, me hearties!’ and end your day with a satisfied ‘arrrr!’

I like this object because it was clearly made for fun. When the class was being established by Hoylake Sailing Club in the early 1900s they were not (to my knowledge!) being overrun by pirates. I do not believe there were shouts of ‘hoist the main sail’ and ‘prepare to be boarded!’ Which takes me back to ‘International Talk Like A Pirate Day’ – it’s all about having fun!