Monday, September 08, 2008

The Mast! Invented After the Sail

The first contribution to our group writing project on Best Sailing Innovation Ever comes via email from Jim Katz, who has such amazing insight into nautical invention pre-history that I assume he must be a professor of anthropology or archaeology at one of the world's major universities...

Uurrgh, who was one of the earliest boatmen, having awoken one morning to find himself inexplicably floating on a slightly hollow log the morning after feasting on some fermented berries, discovered that if he stood up on the log, the breeze pushed him along the surface of the water. The Sail was born! This was the state of sailing affairs for 18 thousand years, until one day an especially bright spark noticed that when the wind freshened, he found himself falling repeatedly off the log. That's when he invented the Mast to have something to hold on to. Further improvements followed at a blinding pace as not ten thousand years later it was noted that you could hang somebody else on the mast instead of yourself; then their skin only seemed to do the job even better, and could Kevlar and Carbon be far behind?

Hmmm. What have I started? Beat that if you can.

1 comment:

Post a Comment