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Sea Shanties - Charles Dickens - Capstans - Portsmouth

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Randy Dandy-Oh

This is a sea shanty typically used on square-rigged sails when working the pump or raising the anchor with the capstan.

To hear the song the sailors sang when the tugboat released them out from Portsmouth, continue below.

The doctor wrote about the tugboat and how they were left on their own hook. This means they had to raise the sails and head out under the power of just the wind. The capstan is the wheel instrument in the middle of the deck. As seen below, poles were inserted into it when needed to create a wheel. The crew took a pole each and turned the capstan.





Charles Dickens Birth Place - Portsmouth


Portsmouth was the birthplace of Charles Dickens. It was home to Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling during their lifetimes also. These literary greats are celebrated with frequent events at museums throughout the city.

Portsmouth Museum