That’s a lot of rope!

Visiting the Maritime Museum was a highlight of a recent trip to San Diego.  Among the many interesting things to see there is the first European vessel to reach America’s west coast, the San Salvador, in 1542.

Sixteenth century technology is an intriguing sight.  While some may walk through a room like this and give it a few seconds to sink in, the amount of rope and what it took to make it, and all the different kinds and thicknesses of rope–that captivated me–and I invite others to pause and marvel.

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What materials were gathered, by whom?  Where were these materials found, and when were they first discovered as something that could be woven into a durable tool?  Whose hands created all this rope?  Imagine the magnitude of the labor, for this one ship.  Were these particular ropes crafted with the aid of man-powered machines, such as pulleys and levers?  How did they know how thick to make them–what was the minimum requirement for the load each type of rope was designed to bear?  What were each of these ropes here for?  The crew knew.  Do we still know all of this stuff?  Is this old technology lost?

It is really quite remarkable and worthy of contemplation.  I leave you with images that stimulate imagination…

Published by Carma Chan

Carma is an American poet, photographer and author, who has published under her maiden name, Dillon, and now writes as Carma Chan to honor her Chinese stepdad. She has also published the Gramma Carmels Preschool Series of digital picture books. Born in 1958 in Los Angeles, she was raised with unconditional love by Ruth and John Chan of Utah from the age of six on and has dedicated her life to "Love, Joy, Peace & Jazzy Harmony." She shares Dr. King's dream. Besides the Saardu series, which is her way of coping with insanity and imagining "greater things than anyone ever taught me," she also writes about overcoming personal pain. For example, 10 Most Annoying Things People Say to NICU Parents (...when they're only trying to help!) "I'm not always serious," she adds, "Having a warped sense of humor is the best medicine! So my stuff is a bit whacked and layered."

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