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As mentioned before, in wooden ships, the "devil" was the longest seam of the ship.  It ran from the bow to the stern.  Depending on the ship's construction, it could be along the keel, along the railing or somewhere in between.

When at sea and the "devil" had to be caulked, if it was above the water line, the seaman sat in a bo'sun's chair to do so.  The bo'sun's chair was usually just a board suspended from a rope.  The seaman was suspended between the "devil" and the sea -- the "deep" -- a very precarious position, especially when the ship was underway.

Posted on Saturday, May 1, 2004 5:07 AM Day Job , & Etc. | Back to top

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